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Dr Julie Rowlands



Senior Lecturer In Education (Education Leadership)


Faculty of Arts and Education


SoE Arts & Ed


Warrnambool Campus



Dr Julie Rowlands researches in the areas of governance, higher education systems, academic quality assurance, leadership and organisational change. Julie applies a critical sociology of education perspective to her work and her writing has been published in high impact international journals including the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Critical Studies in Education and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. Julie’s 2013 article in Studies in Higher Education was selected by the editor in December 2014 as one of a small number of articles to reflect the core themes of that journal. Julie has presented extensively on higher education governance and the role of the university and its relationship to the state, both within Australia and also internationally. Her writing on university academic boards is used by a number of universities around Australia and internationally as a basis for board member education programs. Her monograph, Academic Governance in Contemporary Universities: Perspectives from Anglophone nations, will be published by Springer later in 2016. She has also co-edited and contributed to a volume on practice theory in education, to be published by Routledge in early 2017. Prior to her current academic work, Julie was a senior manager in higher education governance for more than 15 years, most recently as Head of University Governance at Deakin.

Julie is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Deakin University where she is a research active member of the strategic research centre Research for Educational Impact. Julie completed her PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Professor Jill Blackmore. Her thesis was entitled The Role of the Academic Board in the Contemporary Australian University.

Read more on Julie's profile

Research interests

Higher education policy; higher education systems; quality assurance in higher education; university governance; academic governance; orgainsational change.

Teaching interests

Educational governance and leadership.

Units taught

Unit chair ECM704 Introduction to Education Administration and Leadership; Unit Chair ELT711 Introduction to Leadership Theory.

Knowledge areas

University governance; higher education; academic quality assurance; leadership and management; organisational change


Higher education policy; higher education systems; quality assurance in higher education; academic governance; organisational change


International Academic Identities Conference, July 2016, invited keynote address: Academic voice and governance in the measured university.

European Conference on Education Research, August 2015, Budapest, Beyond the academic/managerialsim divide in university governance.

Universities in the Knowledge Eeconomy (UNIKE) conference, February 2015, Auckland NZ. Navigating the ‘in between’ spaces: the academic/managerialism divide in university governance.

European Conference on Educational Research, September 2014, Portugal. Capitalising on networks: the methodological challenges of researching the relational aspects of social contracts. Presented with Dr Shaun Rawolle and Professor Jill Blackmore.

Academic governance, higher education standards and TEQSA, presentation to the Association of Australian University Secretaries, Brisbane, November 2013. Academic Board Role and Function in Australian Universities, presentation at the Australian Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates (CABS), Perth, November 2011. Academic Boards in Contemporary Australian Universities, paper presented at the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference, National Meeting of Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates, Canberra, March 2011. Academic Boards in Contemporary Australian Universities, presentation to the Deakin University Academic Board, Geelong, May 2011. From Power to Glory: a portrait of the academic board, paper presented at the Governance and Development International Conference, Padang, Indonesia, December 2010. Accountability, Quality Assurance and Performativity: the changing role of the academic board, paper accepted for presentation at the AARE International Education Research Conference, Melbourne, November 2010. The Duties and Responsibilities of Council Members, paper presented at the National Conference on University Governance, Melbourne, November 2003.

Professional activities

Associate Editor, Critical Studies in Education

Reviewer for Studies in Higher Education, Journal of Education Policy, Critical Studies in Education, Higher Education, International Journal of Leadership in Education

Elected academic staff member, Deakin University Academic Board
Elected member, Warrnambool College school council

Research groups

Julie is the facilitator of an international group of researchers examining academic governance from comparative and critical perspectives.


Julie is currently researching academic governance in Australia, the USA and the UK and is also part of a research project examining the impact of contractualism on education provision in Australia. She is in the early stages of working with international colleagues to plan an international comparative research project examining academic governance within various nations.


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Academic governance in the contemporary university: perspectives from Anglophone nations

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2017), Singapore, A1


Introduction: diffractive readings in practice theory

Dr Julianne Lynch, Dr Julie Rowlands, Prof Trevor Gale, Dr Andrew Skourdoumbis

(2017), pp. 1-20, Practice theory and education: diffractive readings in professional practice, Abingdon, Eng., B1


The implications of contractualism for the responsibilisation of higher education

Dr Shaun Rawolle, Dr Julie Rowlands, Prof Jillian Blackmore

(2017), Vol. 38, pp. 109-122, Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Shaping and being shaped: extending the relationship between habitus and practice

Dr Julie Rowlands, Prof Trevor Gale

(2016), pp. 91-107, Practice theory and education: diffractive readings in professional practice, Abingdon, Eng., B1


Turning collegial governance on its head : symbolic violence, hegemony and the academic board

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2015), Vol. 36, pp. 1017-1035, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Oxford, Eng., C1


Present but not counted: the tenuous position of academic board chairs within contemporary university governance

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2015), Vol. 18, pp. 263-278, International journal of leadership in education: theory and practice, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Academic boards: less intellectual and more academic capital in higher education governance?

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2013), Vol. 38, pp. 1274-1289, Studies in higher education, Oxon, Eng., C1


The symbolic role of academic boards in university academic quality assurance

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2013), Vol. 19, pp. 142-157, Quality in higher education, London, England, C1


The effectiveness of academic boards in university governance

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2013), Vol. 19, pp. 338-352, Tertiary education and management, London, Eng., C1


Neoliberalism is not a theory of everything: a Bourdieuian analysis of illusio in educational research

Dr Julie Rowlands, Dr Shaun Rawolle

(2013), Vol. 54, pp. 260-272, Critical studies in education, London, Eng., C1


Accountability, quality assurance and performativity : the changing role of the academic board

Dr Julie Rowlands

(2012), Vol. 18, pp. 97-110, Quality in higher education, London, England, C1



Industry and Other Funding

Develop and conduct a longitudinal evaluative study of the ARLF education program

Prof Jillian Blackmore, A/Prof Andrea Gallant, Dr Julie Rowlands

  • 2017: $34,496
  • 2016: $22,997


Associate Supervisor

Evelyn Noy

Thesis entitled: Aid in Post-Conflict States: The Relief-Development Relationship

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences