Cris Shore

Senior Joint Budapest Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2023 - February 2024
Goldsmiths University of London, UK
Project Title: 
Working the Audited University: Metricised Management, Market-Making and University Futures
Project Abstract: 

Throughout the so-called developed world universities are in crisis. Many have responded by introducing new auditing practices and performance-based metrics derived from New Public Management and value-for-money methodologies. This project will analyse universities at the forefront of these experiments to examine how these calculative practices affect individuals, organisations, and the mission of the university. My particular focus is on the work of the Big Four accountancy firms as key architects and beneficiaries of the advancement of these neoliberal reforms, and their initiatives to ‘unbundle’ universities. Using anthropological and genealogical approaches and drawing on debates about academic capitalism, neoliberalization and university futures, I will track their activities across multiple sites and scales. I ask, how are these firms embedding themselves in universities? What techniques are they using to cement their expertise, profitability and power? What new kinds of future are they ‘imagineering’ and how are universities and academics engaging with these challenges?