The Virtual Professor and Online Teaching, Administration and Research: Issues for Globally Dispersed Business Faculty
Changes in the manner in which universities are delivering education are revolutionary. Learning spaces are changing, online learning is increasing, the demand for more flexible learning continues to grow, and the skill set for academics is expanding. Recruitment and retention of academic staff to work in this type of context creates a range of challenges for universities. With a global shortage of quality academic staff, an ageing academic workforce and a younger cohort of casual academic staff looking to leave the sector, institutions may need to consider other ways of attracting staff beyond the traditional manner of resident faculty. One staffing model involves having permanent academic staff positions that are virtual. This case study reports on the experience of a professor in a university’s business faculty working remotely in a foreign country. The experience of working virtually was successful across teaching, research and administrative dimensions. Reasons for this success related to the intrapersonal competencies and work preferences of the professor and the technology rich environment of the university. Maintaining communication richness with colleagues were noted challenges. Educational management and administration of these staffing arrangements offer new ways for universities interested in internationalizing their business.