What to do with old academics

With 29 per cent of Level D and E researchers 60 and older – there are multiple challenges for uni managements

“If universities are going to continue to rely on the productivity of older staff, changes in culture, adaption of workplace safety equipment and new approaches to engagement are likely to be required, Tim Winkler and colleagues argue in a paper for the new HEJobs recruitment site.

“This would involve reimagining the role of older academic staff and even redefining what we mean by the term ‘senior’ academic – so that they are valued and respected, but also provided with the chance to morph into jobs that focus more on their core expertise and less on roles at the front of the staff room, provides opportunities to improve the lot of older staff, reduce their exposure to the humdrum administrivia that blights the modern academic workload, and consider fewer working hours.”

It is but one of a range of staff challenges for individuals and universities as the system ages and changes, including;

* more staff required to teach international students, as student numbers grow

* changes to labour laws requiring conversion of at least a portion of casual and contract roles into ongoing positions

* potential changes to federal regulation and support for higher education

* resumption of initiatives to drive growth, engagement and impact, resulting in more employment

Winkler’s overview of the issues is in Features this morning HERE