Tuesday, 17 April 2012

In Praise of Gold Stars

I was very pleased to read in last week's Times Higher about plans by the Association of University Administrators (AUA) to introduce an accreditation system for its members. Members can gain accreditation if they can demonstrate that they have worked at least 25 hours on improving at least three of the AUA's 'professional behaviours', including 'working with people', 'embracing change' and 'providing direction'.

This is to be welcomed, and brings us laggards and ne'erdowells that make up the core of university administration into the bright, sunny uplands of modern corporate life. We can now aspire to real progress through a structure which is similar to - but, let's be frank, a pale imitation of - the McDonalds star system. This provides McDonalds restaurant employees with gold stars when they have achieved certain goals. Unfortunately I was not able to discover what these goals were on the internet, but  'working with people', 'embracing change' and 'providing direction' may well play a part.

So here's to the brave new world of AUA accreditation! I look forward to receiving my accreditation badge, with relevant stars, which I will wear around  the campus with pride. And who knows? If I earn a full complement of stars, I may be in line for secondment to Hamburger University.

Ah, I can but dream.

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