Help or hindrance: how the HEW model impacts on professional services

The professional staff model in universities was designed 30 years back – a bit has changed since then

Elizabeth Baré, Arnaldo Barone and Janet Beard demonstrate how structures created in the ‘90s can be anomalous or even irrelevant in a new paper for Uni Melbourne’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

And they set questions that go to the heart of the HEW model’s efficiency for institutions and equity (in the sense of career progression and work satisfaction) for individuals including;

* has the structure facilitated a cadre of university managers with skills that span administrative areas

* does the structure contribute to gender pay gaps

* have work classifications resulted in casual jobs paid “market rates” rather than continuing roles

The state of the HEW model is unlikely to be top of mind as universities create their accord cases, but Baré, Barone and Beard make a strong case why it should not be ignored;

“ultimately, the purpose of a classification structure is to fairly and equitably enable the recruitment, development and reward of staff who can not only effectively support and manage current university structures and business, but who also have the right skill mix and capacity to anticipate and meet emerging challenges.”