Once regarded as mere service providers, university administrators are now a recognized profession with particular skills and possessing defined academic qualifications. The division that once separated them from the academics is now blurred with administrators playing important academic roles in quality assurance, student counselling and establishing links with other universities and the industry. In Malaysia, where university processes are tightly controlled by the regulators through a plethora of laws, the administrator ensures compliance of laws and regulations.
The administrator acquires new significance as universities evolve from their old position as self-regulating institutions to becoming corporate organizations with clear social roles that are externally regulated. Another source of change is the massification of education. With more students being admitted into universities, it will be largely the administrators’ role to provide services to match the needs of greater diversity in student populations and introduce measures to deal with the preparedness of the students for higher education. Increasing external pressures from regulatory agencies and ranking agencies will also bear on the responsibilities of the administrator. The university administrator must deal with both internal relationships and needs and external changes and controls.
This programme explores the role of the administrator against modern theories and practices of management and then zooms on to areas of management and administration that are specific to universities. Value is added by examining some of the changes that are taking place in the higher education sector that will impinge on the way universities are administered. The other equally important objective is to provide a platform to participants from which to commence a programme of personal and professional development.