Ivory Basement Leadership: Power and Invisibility in the Changing University
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Many people fear that the ivory tower is crumbling. Of urgent concern are deteriorating standards, fewer jobs, waning professional prestige and continuing inequity. Leadership in the tower is easy to spot. It is hierarchical, detached and mostly male.
In this highly readable book, Joan Eveline turns her acute gaze to the ivory basement, where the workers, mostly women, are struggling against a greedy organisation that cannibalises their efforts and energy.
Voices from the basement—of The University of Western Australia, but it could be any other in Australia—speak about the devaluing of their work.
As the university’s attention to diversity and equity grows, Eveline finds a new linkage, through shared experience, of administrative staff, research assistants and the lower order of academics.
And she discerns a courageous and almost invisible exercise of leadership.
This ‘post-heroic’ leadership values personal relationship, teaching, loyalty and, above all, collaborative innovation.
Ivory Basement Leadership will hearten those dismayed by the restructuring pandemic.
For ivory basement workers—in corridors, departments, laboratories and offices—are forging a leadership model that can revive our ailing universities.