Tryin’ to keep the customer satisfied

Listening to a presentation on student satisfaction survey results recently, I felt a sort of ambivalent sympathy with the administrative colleague whose job it is to assure students that we’re committed to ‘closing the feedback loop’, so that they can feel that their efforts in filling out our surveys result in meaningful action. ‘Closing the feedback loop’ is considered the acme of good practice, but it’s also the Everest of communication challenges. It relies on persuading everyone involved that ‘we’…

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Universities are not very agile

I’ve been in conversation with a number of colleagues about whether or not academics are “resistant to change”. ┬áThis claim was included quite casually in a document written to explain to external stakeholders the kinds of characteristics they would expect to see in a university community. Students are experimental, technical staff are skilled, and academics are … resistant to change. Obviously, at one level this is just annoying.

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