It is becoming increasingly important for universities to meet the needs of today’s global learners. As a result, online academic institutions are raising the bar
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Ongoing problems within a department can have profound consequences, including difficulty in recruiting and retaining faculty and students, loss of funding, and even program termination. While the health of a department cannot be the responsibility of a single person, the department chair plays a pivotal role in getting departments out of trouble and maintaining a healthy, positive direction.
In the now famous presentation at the 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Long Beach, California, Benjamin Zander, the music director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, spoke of the insights he gained into what makes a conductor great. Zander noted that only after 20 years at the podium did he realize that the conductor is the only person in the orchestra who “doesn’t make a sound. He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful.” (Zander, 2009)
While entering the administrative ranks of academia might seem a formidable task, staying there presents a whole other series of challenges. The average length of stay for a dean, vice chancellor, or chancellor can often be fewer than five years and in some programs, the duration of leadership has been known to be considerably shorter.
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.
While I am far from a computer guru, I know the great value of technology and have become addicted to email. I am not sure how many hundred email messages I get each week, but my OCD tendencies lead me to an irresistible desire to check and respond to my messages many times a day. Such a compulsion is, I fear, only one symptom of my personal infomania and rushaholism. And I know I am not alone.
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.
The current conditions for leadership development in academe are less than optimal. More often than not, academic leaders come from faculty ranks having been asked to assume positions as department heads/chairs or even deans having had no previous administrative experience. The individual has opportunities for development, but not on any long-term or ongoing basis.