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Public mission of universities

06 June 2011

Distinguished Lecture Series logo

The role of universities worldwide as a participant in and observer of society is being eroded and institutions must move forward and reinvent their public mission, an eminent sociologist will argue in a keynote lecture at the University.

On Thursday 9 June 2011, Professor Michael Burawoy of the University of California, Berkeley, will give the first of the University’s Distinguished Lectures, a four-part series which brings eminent and influential guest speakers to the University and a wider audience to showcase their work.

In his talk entitled Universities in Crisis, Professor Burawoy will argue that the golden age of university autonomy is over. Institutions worldwide are facing two forms of pressure - commodification and regulation and the academy has no option but to engage with the wider society. The lecture will be streamed live on the University’s website extending to an audience around the globe.

Cardiff has a strong tradition of attracting world-leading scholars to the University and to Wales to discuss key issues. Professor Burawoy is a leading proponent of public sociology, a renowned author, and a close observer of industrial workplaces in countries around the world. Most recently, he has turned to the study of his own workplace – the university – to consider the way sociology itself is produced and then disseminated to diverse publics.

Ahead of the lecture the Schools supporting the event – the School of Social Sciences, the School of City and Regional Planning and Cardiff Business School - will be outlining their cutting-edge research in a series of seminars and workshops.

Running from 2pm – 5pm the seminars take place at the Glamorgan Building and are open to all. To attend the afternoon seminar series please contact Sandra Bonney, School of Social Sciences on

Professor Burawoy’s lecture will be held at Birt Acres lecture theatre, Bute Building, Cardiff and starts at 6.00pm, with a reception beforehand starting at 5.30pm. To reserve a place at the lecture please email or call 029 2087 6935. The lecture will be streamed live from 6.00pm at

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