Topic: Collegiality

Stories from Australian academics in unit coordination roles that touch on the topic of collegiality.

Relationships are the ‘heart’ of universities

I have lectured in this regional campus since it opened more than 20 years ago. I commenced as a sessional staff member and watched the campus grow and evolve. My concern of late is the poor attention paid to relationship … More…

How Heads of School may help

Heads of School can help Unit Coordinators by helping with quality issues, managing sessional staff and facilitating collegiality. More…

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Reflections from an Engineer

Engineers find it difficult to relate to traditional teaching theories which are embedded in the humanities. This Unit Coordinator spent years reading and now understands the literature. Experience has taught him a great deal about the university culture. More…

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Developing one’s own style

Having a multidisciplinary background and commercial experience has imbued this coordinator in business with confidence to advise students about industry reality and their career paths. She considers unit coordination as a part of a journey and encourages new coordinators to talk and share with colleagues. More…

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Seeing myself differently

A young but experienced coordinator of a unit in education is a reflective practitioner and open to continuous learning. She owns up to her mistakes, and has overcome them through building collegial networks, being disciplined about her time and demonstrating a more relaxed attitude. More…

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Exerting a positive influence

Exerting a positive influence on future doctors is very rewarding to this Unit Coordinator who regards himself as a leader. He views leadership as a role, not a position and something you are do rather than being assigned. More…

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Teaching in blocks

Participants fly in to participate in this unit that involves 5 days of face to face time followed by on-line learning. The unit operates in six week blocks several times a year and is quite intensive. More…

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Lecturer by choice, not by chance

Initially, my university role involved teaching only, although I quickly found myself also managing other activities and staff.  Since starting here I have been well supported by my Head of School.  There are some boring administrative aspects to the role, … More…

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What sessional staff want

During my years as Unit Coordinator in the School of Nursing I employed and managed many sessional staff.  I explored and discovered that they seek validation of their professional knowledge, opportunities to develop professionally, and to connect with their profession … More…

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Coping with an unhelpful predecessor

This Unit Coordinator recounts the horror of starting in her role without any support and sharing of materials from her predecessor. She offers helpful advice to new coordinators starting out. More…

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Academic developers helping others

Changes to the role during the past 15 years are outlined here, particularly in relation to accountability expectations on Unit Coordinators. The Centre’s responsibilities and ‘tensions’ are also clarified. More…

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Working at the cutting edge

While strong support for teaching and learning is now offered at this Unit Coordinator’s university it was not the case when he first arrived. Over time technology and collegiate networks have strengthened to better support all teaching staff. More…

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New academics

This coordinator is of the view that many new academics are thrown in at the deep end and are given too much responsibility for which don’t have the experience. He goes on to provide tips that may help them to cope with the workload and gain perspective.
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Leading not managing

After many years this Unit Coordinator remains convinced that teaching is undervalued and unsupported in her university. Alone she introduced innovation into her units and sees herself as a leader in her discipline. More…

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An international transition

After gaining some credibility in her chosen field this Unit Coordinator emigrated from Eastern Europe. She describes her appreciation of the support provided to her on her arrival at an Australian university. More…

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Managing the workload

This Unit Coordinator began her career in a regional university setting before moving to a city based research intensive university. She describes the differences in technology application between the universities and the level of support provided to Unit Coordinators. More…

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A Baptism of fire

Prior to her university career this Unit Coordinator worked in the mining industry and was self employed. She describes her first weeks preparing a new unit as an academic. Her survival was assisted with support from her colleagues and her own resilience. More…

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Using my time wisely

This coordinator faced the newness of technical issues initially and associates lack of administration support with a lack of value by her institution. Dealing with staff hiring, paperwork and other admin tasks removes her from focussing on the students and other important areas that her education and experience have prepared her for. More…

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Supporting unit coordinators

As Head of a new clinical school, there was nothing in place and progress was made difficult for unit coordinators who were professional clinicians rather than academics. He sees his role as supportive and clearly outlines his expectations with new staff. He operates in a ‘fluid’ environment and relies heavily on the goodwill of staff, while also relying on the T & L team and student services for advice and practical assistance. More…

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Stepping up to unit coordination

This coordinator started out as a tutor and took over a unit when the coordinator left. She creatively changed things and made it her own which the students loved. She feels well supported and developed a sound pedagogical philosophy.
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