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'Filling the gaps': Regional academics and invisible innovation


Schmidt, M and Aberdeen, L and Eversole, R and Carlon, C, 'Filling the gaps': Regional academics and invisible innovation, TASA Thematic Week Book of Abstracts, 22-26 November 2021, Virtual Conference, Online (2021) [Conference Extract]

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In this paper we take a strength-based approach to understanding and valuing intellectual labour on regional university campuses. We argue that staff on regional campuses often turn their position of marginality into one of strength, despite working in environments that are marginalised and more vulnerable to funding cuts compared to their metropolitan counterparts. Using a collaborative autoethnography (Lapadat 2017), we reflect on our experiences of configuring resources creatively in response to their scarcity. For example, one of us established a Community of Practice with other local colleagues to create a space for peer learning, collaboration and professional development. Such initiatives highlight how unique solutions to local issues are created by ‘gap filling’ (Eversole and Scholfield 2006) that often exist on regional campuses. We use Southern Theory (Collyer et al. 2019) to situate our work in location-based power relations in the Australian University system. We also draw on Eversole’s (2021) concept of ‘invisible innovation’ to highlight how one-dimensional metrics construct the work of regional academics as invisible and unimportant. Our approach brings to the fore the inequalities of place-based power relations, the strengths of local leadership and its role in the development of regional campuses and their communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:sociology of education, collaborative autoethnography, regional campuses, regional inequalities, higher education
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Rural sociology
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Schmidt, M (Dr Merete Schmidt)
UTAS Author:Eversole, R (Professor Robyn Eversole)
ID Code:148698
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2022-02-03
Last Modified:2022-02-11

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