In a unique undertaking, the Australian Universities Governance Review analyses the expertise and experience of nearly 700 people appointed to councils and senior leadership roles at 39 Australian universities.
For each university, the report reveals the broad intellectual domains in which council members and senior leaders were trained, the degrees they have obtained, the countries in which they have lived, and the main industries in which they've worked.
Quantitative methods are used to highlight gaps in expertise relative to teaching and research programmes, international student loads, and local economic context.
The aim is to provide every university with a guide to the expertise it needs if its governing board is to make truly informed strategic decisions.
Universities are complicated organisations and their leaders increasingly need to weigh difficult decisions across large and complex portfolios. Doing this well requires insight across an extremely broad range of domains. Yet the membership of Australian university councils indicates a surprising homogeneity of background.
Australian universities currently benefit from hard-working and well-informed councillors and leaders across certain domains, but they lack the diversity of skills that are likely to optimise their odds of success in a changing world.
For universities and governments interested in understanding the expertise and experience profiles of the people who run Australian universities, the Australian Universities Governance Review is the ideal resource.