The study investigated the relationship between job rotation, motivation, demographic variables and job performance among career administrators of Public Universities in South East, Nigeria. Nine research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. The study employed the correlational survey design. The population of the study comprised 1, 029 Career administrators in public (Federal and State) universities. Purposive sampling was employed to select four states out of five states, with the total of eight universities (four federal and four states) universities from Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Imo States. 595career administrators within the ranks of Senior Assistant Registrar, Assistant Registrar and Administrative Officers were purposively selected from these universities. Two sets of instruments namely: University Career Administrators Job Performance Scale (UCAJPS), University Career Administrators Motivation Questionnaire (UCAMQ) and Interview Schedule for Unit Heads ISUH (Deputy Registrars and Principal Assistant Registrars) were used for data collection. The instruments were face validated by five experts: Four in the Department of Educational Foundations and one in the Department of Social Science Education, all from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability coefficients of the job performance rating scale obtained through Cronbach Alpha method were 0.62, 0.77, 0.76, 0.62 and 0.88 for clusters A, B, C, D and the whole respectively. The reliability coefficients of the motivation questionnaire were 0.55, 0.85, 0.74, 0.70, 0.75 and 0.2 for clusters A, B, C, D, E and the whole respectively. A direct delivery and retrieval method was employed in the administration of the instruments to the respondents. Data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation; Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient for research questions and multiple regressions was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study among others showed that the career administrators are effective in their job. Job itself, public relations and administration and supervision constituted their motivational factors while they are not motivated by salary and good working conditions. The study also revealed that job rotation, motivation and demographic variables had significant relationship (P<0.05) with job performance of career administrators in the following administrative areas; communication, decision-making and public relation and showed no significant relationship (P>0.05) in coordination. However, the variable that really predicted performance was designation. Based on these findings, it was recommended among others that the Government, in collaboration with the supervising agency of universities should continually initiate, implement and evaluate realistic policies or decisions necessary for sustainable effective service delivery or job performance of career administrators in universities. Government should ensure regular/prompt payment of salaries and also that the general working conditions are favorable to adequately motivate career administrators to work.

Background of the Study
Education is widely accepted as a major instrument for promoting socio-economic, political and cultural development of a nation. This explains the reason the developed countries of the world have always guarded their educational affairs with strictness and most deserved sense of commitment. In view of the importance of education to both individual and national life, the (Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 2004) in her National Policy on Education categorized the education system into four levels namely: pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary levels which include polytechnic, colleges of education and universities.
University is the highest educational institution for teaching and research in various disciplines for the acquisition of knowledge and the production of workforce and materials for personal and societal growth and development (Obeki, 2012). Universities make optimum contribution to national development through relevant higher level manpower training. The primary goal of university education is to satisfy specific or general educational needs of the nation through teaching of students, conducting research and dissemination of knowledge, together with other community service activities (FRN, 2004). The achievement of this noble objective requires an effective management of the system through proper utilization of human and material resources. This, according to Eze (1994) entails adhering to high standards in recruitment, continuous training and retraining based on identified needs, offering competitive schemes of remuneration and incentives in all the units of the university.

In any university system, Registry is one of the units which carries out substantial non-academic duties with the Registrar as the administrative head. The Registry department is the administrative heart of the university responsible for the routine administration of the university except those bothering on financial matters, accounts and academics. It is responsible for the secretarial services, analysis and storage of relevant statistics and information to name a few. In achieving these tasks, the role of university career administrators becomes indispensable.

University career administrators are full-time professional staff who implement minor routine policies and decisions in the university and is headed by the Registrar (Adamji, 2013). Career administrators in this study are those personnel employed to work in the administrative arm of the university. The structure of university career administrators in descending order is as follows: Administrative Assistant, Administrative Officer, Assistant Registrar, Senior Assistant Registrar, Principal Assistant Registrar, Deputy Registrar and Registrar. Career administrators perform different functions under the supervision of Deputy Registrars who by virtue of their ranks constitute the Unit Heads. The major functions of university career administrators are to ensure proper interpretation and implementation of policies and decisions of the university which could be achieved through effective job performance.

Performance is an act of accomplishing or executing a given task (Mulins, 2005). Performance is the ability of a person assigned to specific duties to carry out such duties efficiently. Job performance therefore, is the achievement of specific tasks measured against predetermined or identified standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed (Saka & Haruna, 2012). In this study, job performance is the extent to which the career administrators are able to accomplish the task assigned to them and how the accomplished task contribute to the realization of the overall university goals.
Job performance has some indices. These indices as noted by Obeki (2012) include scheduling and coordinating meetings and appointments, maintaining office supplies, decision-making, recruiting, training and supervising junior staff and communication. Similarly, The National Skill Standard Board (2000) states the following as the indices of job performance: gathering and analyzing information, communication comprising listening, speaking, using information and communication technology, social relations coordination among others. However, the above mentioned duties are performed by career administrators but most generally and commonly done amongst them includes communication, decision-making, public relations and coordination which the researcher dwelt on.

It has been observed that the overall performance of staff in most of the public establishments seems to be deteriorating. Buttressing this, (Ndu & Anabogu, 2007) noted that the most common term used in Nigeria today to describe the general standard of performance in the public service is inefficiency. It is a popular consensus among many observers that public institutions in Nigeria have not measured up to the desired level of performance. These therefore, pose serious challenges to both employers and employees in pursuance of set goals particularly in the universities in developing nations. Afolakemi (2006) reiterates that the Nigerian educational system, particularly at the tertiary level, in the recent times, has been in crises and the situation has recently been made worse by frequent strikes staged by staff resulting in low morale, poor attendance to work, apathy, absenteeism, corruption of all types among others. Nigeria seems to be facing immense challenges in terms of poor quality of products of higher educational institutions. It has been observed that a good number of graduates can neither express themselves nor write good official letters.

In the same vein, World Bank (2000) reports that the standards of education have fallen considerably over the past decades with low levels of competences in the work environment and that a university degree is no longer a guarantee of communication skills or technical competences. The World Bank further states that as a result of the above, Nigerian university graduates are commonly viewed as “half baked” and one cannot get five correctly crafted sentences in one paragraph from recent university graduates. According to World Bank reports on quality deterioration, some university graduates recruited as senior administrators cannot write a memo of three paragraphs, some of these half-baked products of higher educational institutions do find themselves in the labour market, including appointments as career administrators in universities.

Observations show that most appointments, promotions and job placements in the public sector in Nigeria including the university system, are based on paper qualification, political affiliation, ethnicity and religious inclination or on the connection and reference of the appointee to the people that matter and not necessarily through competitive interview (Akpakwu, 2013). Seniority and quota system could equally be considered as a criterion for appointment and promotion in the public sector. Most of those employees so appointed or promoted, including university career administrators may lack the basic knowledge and skills and may not be competent on the job. This could cause a lot of distortions and low performance in the system. This situation compromises the quality of services in tertiary institutions, thus derailing the achievement of the university goals. Personal observation by the researcher show that this trend has really affected public tertiary institutions in Nigeria in.....

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