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Changing Academic Identitites in a Dual Sector University
This study researched changing academic identities in one dual sector university in British Columbia, Canada. It provides a close look at a group of faculty individually and collectively experiencing organisational change as the institution evolves from a college to a dual sector university. The research utilized a social constructionist epistemology consistent with some recent research on academic identities (Barnett and Di Napoli, 2008: Gordon and Whitchurch, 2010; Henkel, 2000). These researchers and others assert that academics construct their identities reflexively (Giddens, 1991, p.5) within academic communities that shape individual identities (Henkel, 2000, p. 250). My methodology is grounded on these assumptions and can best be described as ethnographic interpretivism. Research methods included a short questionnaire targeted at all faculty members across the institution and more detailed personal interviews with 8 individual faculty members. The research incorporated a review of relevant institutional data and an analysis of the external context that may have influenced both academic identities within the institution and organisational changes. This is ‘insider research’ and as such it presents both methodological and ethical challenges. My reflections on these, how I addressed them, how the institution reacted to my research, and how I responded forms a component of the study. I present the findings, conclusions and recommendations for professional practice in this report.
Higher Education Administration
Higher Education and Teaching
Gordon Roy Lee (author)