It’s been said that no one dreams of someday becoming an academic administrator. It’s a tough job that’s only gotten more challenging as budgets shrink, public scrutiny rises, and responsibilities continue to grow. But what does it really take to be an effective leader?
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Academic Leadership Development
Colleges and universities have realized increasingly that effective teaching by instructors and successful learning by students does not occur through serendipity. Even though more and more graduate programs are providing doctoral students with experience and training in how to teach at the college level, many faculty members still reach their positions largely through an education based on how to perform research, not on how to include students in that research or train others in their disciplines.
Discussion of teaching and learning as an academic, scholarly endeavor has become an acceptable conversation on college campuses. A shift is beginning to take place whereby the scholarship of teaching and learning is now being taken seriously. We are making progress in higher education by making undergraduate education intentional, thus moving toward a learner-centered paradigm.
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned all-day orientation program to get new academic leaders acclimated and ready to tackle the challenges of their new positions, right? Wrong.
To say that my first year as division chair was a “learning experience” filled with “teaching moments” is an understatement. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! In addition to the normal duties of chair, my division was moving to a new building, the college was working on its accreditation self-study, we began collective bargaining, we added two new members to the division, we conducted a search for an additional new member, and I taught a fully online course for the first time.
Like many deans, Monte Finkelstein did not plan to be a leader. He began as a history instructor, gradually took on more leadership responsibilities, and came to his division deanship at Tallahassee Community College through his desire for challenges beyond the classroom and the retirement of the previous dean.
All too often new administrators are left to fend for themselves when it comes to discovering and developing the skills they need to succeed in their new position. This report will help new administrators navigate the potential minefields and find their voice when it comes to leading effectively.