The Academy of Finland commissioned an international evaluation of the Media and Communication Research conducted in Finnish universities last year. The evaluation report was published yesterday, and can be downloaded from here:
There is much interesting descriptive data about the work our unit and many others are doing, and also some good recommendations. Some of the most crucial ones nevertheless remain outside of our power, most notably the lack of resources that has its impact on many aspects of academic work. Prof. Thorsten Quandt, the chair of the evaluation panel, noted that the administrative work load of professors needs to be radically lowered in order to have resources directed to original research, yet it is difficult to see how this can happen if the direction in the university sector has been to move more and more to “self-service model” where everyone, professors included, do everything themselves, using various less or more usable information systems. The fundamental problem seems to be the dominance of managerialist mindset (over-reliance on measurements, systems, “meta-work”), and that is not something that is unique to the media and communication research, it is endemic to contemporary academia.