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Routledge Education Author of the Month November 2012: Gary Rolfe

Gary Rolfe is Professor of Nursing at Swansea University and Visiting Professor at Trinity College Dublin and Canterbury Christ Church University. He is also Associate Professor in Innovation and Practice Development with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. He is Assistant Editor of Nurse Education Today, where he also edits the 'Big Ideas' section, and sits on the editorial boards of Educational Action Research and the International Journal of Practice Development.

Gary has published 10 books in the field of practice innovation in healthcare, reflective practice, practitioner research, philosophy of healthcare and education, along with well over one hundred book chapters, journal papers and editorials. He regularly receives invitations to speak at conferences and give seminars across the world.

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On graduating in philosophy from Surrey University in 1977, Gary found himself working in a psychiatric hospital in Portsmouth, where he later trained as a mental health nurse. After several years of working in acute psychiatry, he was appointed to a lecturer-practitioner role before moving full-time into higher education at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he held a number of grants for practice-based action research projects.

On obtaining his Masters degree and Doctorate in Education from Southampton University, Gary was promoted to Reader in Practice Development, and this was followed by a chair in Nursing at Swansea University, where he has worked since 2003. Gary has a passionate belief that the primary and most fundamental role of the university is to educate, and that education can and should be both an end in itself and a means to social and moral goods. Gary teaches reflective practice, action research and philosophical issues in health care to students at all levels and supervises PhD and professional doctoral students. He established and led the College's Academy for Learning and Teaching and plays a leading role in the Wales Centre for Practice Innovation in Health Care.

Personal Statement relating to Rolfe's newest book: The University in Dissent

Education is a deadly serious matter: education enriches and changes lives, and in my particular academic discipline, the quality of the educational provision to pre-registration and post-qualifying health care students can quite literally be the difference between life and death for their patients.

In my latest book The University in Dissent, I examine the changes in the role and functions of the university over the past two hundred years, culminating in the rise of corporatism which has, in Bill Readings' words, left the university in ruins. Many academics now find themselves working in institutions with mission statements that no longer include the word 'education', where the idea of quality has been replaced by quantity, and where academic accountability takes second place to economic accountancy. The two most common responses by academics to this situation entail either loud protest and opposition or active and opportunistic engagement with the new corporate agenda. I suggest that the former is infeasible and the second is unacceptable, and offer in their place a blueprint for a virtual community of scholars intent on undermining the corporate mission and replacing it with a renewed commitment to scholarship, collegiality and critical accountability.

Related Products

  1. The University in Dissent

    Scholarship in the corporate university

    By Gary Rolfe

    Series: Research into Higher Education

    The rise of corporatism in the North American University was charted by Bill Readings in the mid nineteen-nineties in his book The University in Ruins. The intervening years have seen the corporate university grow and extend to the point where its evolution into a large business corporation is...

    Published October 31st 2012 by Routledge

  2. Deconstructing Evidence-Based Practice

    By Dawn Freshwater, Gary Rolfe

    This innovative book strips the concept of evidence-based practice back to basics using deconstructive analysis, so that readers can move towards a clearer understanding of it. The practitioner is guided through a number of case studies in which the authors examine how the concept of evidence-based...

    Published August 12th 2004 by Routledge