“Language staff lose academic ranking”: What’s new managerialism got to do with it?

  • Rosemary Clerehan Monash University
Keywords: Language and Learning staff, ecological approaches to student writing, managerialism in higher education,


The Language and Learning Services Unit at Monash University, a site for the research-based practice of our profession since 1996 and before that, for a previous ten years at the Caulfield and Peninsula campuses, closed at the end of May, 2007. This paper explores why that happened. It examines the apparent lack of managerial understanding and insight into the nature of academic work – our own and, by extension, that of the students and staff with whom we deal – associated with these events. Crucially, the paper draws on a conception of disciplinary learning as representing for students a complex ecology – an ecology in which we, as Academic Language and Learning practitioners, find our place, and to which we bear witness. The paper argues that management ignored the workings of this ecology to its detriment and, in viewing language as a skill separable from disciplinary learning, devalued the understanding which is necessary for an institution to help students to learn. The implications of this for communication in our practice will be discussed.

Author Biography

Rosemary Clerehan, Monash University
Associate Professor and Director, International Postgraduate Academic Support, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University
How to Cite
ClerehanR. (2007). “Language staff lose academic ranking”: What’s new managerialism got to do with it?. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 1(1), A68-A77. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/32
Research Articles