I'm a faculty member at a not-particularly-prestigious university with ambitions / pretensions as a research institution. Management has recently proclaimed a series of new strategic goals, all of which sound to me like so many meaningless management platitudes. Well, to address the strategic goal of "developing national culture, civic engagement and international cooperation," some of my colleagues, apparently responding to incentives, have put together a proposal for an "Institute of International Public Cooperation"
The stated goals of this would-be institute consist of further platitudes. They want to liaise with stakeholders, further global justice, enhance research quality and, most tellingly, "attract external funding." Their short term goals include things like "identifying potential partners," "establishing a working party," and "discussing the proposal" with various administrative bigwigs. They also want to "foster innovative linkages both globally and locally." Well, you get the idea.
As a scholar with no administrative ambitions, my gut instinct is to ignore the whole thing as a waste of time. But what does this initiative look like from an administrator's point of view? I want to appear a team player, and I actually do want to do my fair share of administrative work. Do you think it's worthwhile to ... well, put my name down? to attend a couple meetings I feel confident will be a waste of time, but should I look in a few times just in case they're not? Much of my institution's managerial language strikes me as a secret code that I haven't learned: what do you rate the chances of finding meaningful content hidden beneath the jargon? Have I become cynical about management-speak before my time? And, even assuming my skepticism is justified, how do you think administrators value participation in this sort of thing?
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