Heads of University Management & Administration Network Europe

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Agenda Conference Konstanz

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HUMANE annual conference at the University of Konstanz, 22 - 23 June 2012

Universities are complex organisations in a complex environment. Managing universities requires a sensitivity about what universities are about. But it is also necessary to develop an active awareness of the economic, societal and political context in which universities operate. The question of this conference was why some universities perform better than other universities under comparable circumstances and what the role of the administration and the management is in this.

Many people say that recruiting and retaining the best academic staff is the most important job of the university leadership. Other people say that it is all a question of money. True as both sentences might seem, there are of course other aspects. How do we cope with the balance between autonomy and accountability, between competition and co-operation, between government and market, between the increasing demand for excellence and the traditional culture of equality between peers?

The lively and well attended conference of course tried to focus on the question what the role of the administration is in all this? Good governance, stimulating human resource policies, smooth procedures with as little bureacratic burden for academics as possible, excellent facilities, smart financial policies, visibility for fund raising, all these things contribute to the succes of a university. How can universities create these circumstances in the administration and in what way can the administration make use of external challenges? These challenging issues were at the core of this conference. We got the chance to look at these issues from different angles:

How does the German Excellence iniative create new opportunities for universities and what challenges does it pose for the adminisatration and for the university as an organzation? What choices does a technical university make to excell? How can a young university position itself amongst well established universities within a few decades? The seminar will focus on best practices. It is an excellent opportunity to learn and to share experiences. 

Presentations can be found in the right column of this page.