Teorifagbygget Hus 1, Auditorium 2
Track A: Digitalization and Managing Change
Transforming the University Administration
– From Control to Service?
University administration is often seen as non-supportive, controlling and inhibiting. When asked about how it should be, the need and expectation seems to be for more flexibility, proactivity and cooperation – better service. Traditionally, better service in universities has been achieved by renaming the administration into something with the word ‘service’ and hiring more people. Due to increased competition and diminishing government funding, new ways have to be found. Digitalization offers us new opportunities. But, better service has many dimensions. Who is actually our ‘customer’ or service user and what does he or she really expect? Seen through the eyes of our service user, what does our service offering look like and what’s digital and what’s physical? How do we deliver our services? Do we, as an organization, actually have a common understanding of ‘good service’ and how it could and should be delivered – do we really have a service culture? Finally, looking at ourselves as leaders in the administration, how do we set targets to, lead and develop our services, and, the most important thing, how do services and actual resources, like money and time, connect? These are complex questions that are continuously battled in the Finnish university sector and here is a glimpse into what actually has been done.
Professor of Political Science, Administration and Organization Studies at University of Helsinki