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"Quest for the Best"? Drivers and Outcomes of Recent Change to PVC Appointment Practice

Shepherd, Sue (2014) "Quest for the Best"? Drivers and Outcomes of Recent Change to PVC Appointment Practice. In: IOE Doctoral Seminar, 18 March 2014, Institute of Education, University of London. (Unpublished) (KAR id:38836)

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Increasingly, pre-1992 universities are moving away from the traditional fixed-term secondment model of appointing their Deputy and Pro Vice Chancellors (PVCs) to one of external open competition, often utilising the services of executive search agencies, or ‘head hunters’. This study examines who and what is driving this change and explores its implications – intended or otherwise – both for the individuals concerned and for their institutions.

Has the adoption of new recruitment practice led to a change in the profile of successful candidates? Or improved management capacity? And is it an example of the ‘managerialism’ that is said to be pervading universities at the expense of academic power?

Findings, including from an online survey and over 70 interviews with Vice-Chancellors, PVCs and ‘next tier’ managers, will be presented that will provide some answers to these questions. Your feedback on the initial data analysis and conceptual development will be invited.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Higher education management; Pro Vice Chancellors; Recruitment and selection; Executive search
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Sue Shepherd
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2014 10:48 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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