Hearing the voices of general staff: a Delphi study of the contributions of general staff to student outcomes

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Journal Article
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 2010, 32 (3), pp. 213 - 223
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A university's key resource is its staff, both academic and general. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the work of general staff. Yet general staff comprise more than half the workforce in Australian universities and a more rigorous understanding of the contribution of general staff towards the strategic goals of their institutions has the potential to enhance their institutions' organisational sustainability. Universities have multiple and diverse stakeholders, but students are the key stakeholders in universities' core business of learning and teaching. Consequently, the interaction of general staff with students has potential to have an impact on the sustainability of an institution. This paper describes a preliminary study into how general staff contribute to student outcomes. A meta-study by Prebble et al. derived 13 propositions for support of student outcomes that focused on the contribution by academic staff and Middleton subsequently surmised that general staff are also central to those outcomes. This study uses the Delphi method to test Middleton's assertion by engaging general staff in ranking the propositions in terms of their contribution to student outcomes.
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