Field Guide to Academic Leadership
published by Jossey-Bass, 2002
Robert M. Diamond Ph.D., Editor
"This is the kind of book that belongs on the credenza behind the desk, to be pulled out as issues arise."
- Robert Atwell, Former president ACE
" Finally, someone has placed in one volume an overview of contemporary issues in academic leadership. The is a must-read book…practitioner friendly."
- Barbara S. Liggett, Director Leadership Graduate Programs, Western Michigan University
"A genuine on-the-job survival companion with practical, focused, and insightful guidance for key educational leadership challenges and must-know information. Highly recommended for cover-to-cover reading and as an ongoing spot reference for catch-up work and evolving roles."
- Ann E. Puyana, Vice president for academic affairs, Valencia Community College.
"Every academic leader should have it on the shelf for easy and frequent reference-right alongside the undergraduate catalog and the faculty handbook."
- Jerry Baberet, Executive Director, Associated New American Colleges
Table of Contents
Part I Basics
1. Pressures for Fundamental Reform: Creating a Viable Academic Future Alan E. Guskin and Mary B. Marcy
A review of the forces for change impacting higher education and of the effect these changes are having on faculty and faculty positions.
2. Requisites for Sustainable Institutional Change Robert M. Diamond, Lion F. Gardiner and Daniel W.Wheeler
A discussion of the specific knowledge and skills that academic leaders need to institute major institutional change. Introduces the concept of integrated leadership.
Part II - Leadership
3. Leadership and Change Dale W. Lick
Discusses distinctions between leadership and management and leadership’s role as a change agent in the age of transformation within the academic culture. A number of leadership models are described.
4. Mission and Vision Statements: An Essential First Step William G. Tierney
Describes the functions of mission and vision statements, the importance of communicating priorities, and a process for reviewing the clarity of your own mission and vision statements.
5. Moving Mountains: Institutional Culture and Transformational Change Judith A. Ramaley
Discusses the conditions required to bring about lasting change, a discussion of cultural issues, and of overcoming the common barriers to change.
6. Building on Style for More Effective Relationships and Results Robert M. Diamond and Charles M. Spuches
Explains why understanding your own style and how you are perceived by others is important. Includes information on instruments and inventories you can use to become more effective in your role.
Part III Academics
7. Research on Learning and Student Development and its Implications Lion F. Gardiner
An overview of the literature on learning in American colleges and universities. Includes a review of the conditions and practices that foster student success.
8. Student Development: Monitoring the Quality of Learning and Development Lion F. Gardiner
Stresses the importance of quality information in academic programs. Includes specific suggestions on developing a system to assess learning outcomes and your role in developing a supportive climate for the assessment of student learning.
9. Curricula and Courses: Administrative Issues Robert M. Diamond
A discussion of issues relating to the curriculum. Specific suggestions for getting curriculum initiatives underway are provided. Includes a list of common problems found at the course level and recommendations on how you can assist faculty in the process of course improvement.
10. Teaching Strategies For the 21st Century James Eison
After reviewing the teaching practices and conditions that research has identified as being most effective in promoting learning, the chapter describes ten of the more widely used approaches that build on this information. A comprehensive list of website resources is also provided.
11. Technology in the Learning Process Wallace Hannum
Explains why technology options should be explored and includes a review of the various approaches. Provides a rational for their use and an excellent set of guidelines that build on the principles for good practice in undergraduate instruction developed by Chickering and Gamson. A list of questions that should be asked before any decision to chose a technology option is made is also included.
12. Improving Academic Advising: Issues and Action Areas for Campus Leaders Franklin P. Wilbur
Discusses developing a quality advising system, various approaches and the importance of an integrated student information system. An instrument to use in assessing advising on your own campus is also provided.
13. Faculty Development: An Investment for the Future Marilla Svinicki
Describes the role and importance of faculty and instructional development initiatives at an institution. Different structures and approaches are discussed as well as what academic leaders can do to ensure maximum impact of such initiatives.
Part IV Assessment
14. Evaluation and Assessment: An Institutional Context Michael Theall
Describes common problems with developing a climate that supports evaluation and assessment, how to avoid them, and your role in the process. Concludes with a list of the factors units should consider in developing a data management plan.
15. Academic Program Review Jon F. Wergin
Focuses on reviewing departments and programs. Discusses the common barriers to effective evaluation of units and reviews the findings of a recent study on departmental evaluation. Conditions required for a supportive climate and procedures for improving program review are described and placed in the context of how accreditation agencies are assessing "educational effectiveness."
16. Leadership in Faculty Evaluation Michael Theall
Addresses developing a quality and supportive faculty evaluation system. Common problem areas are described and suggestions on how they might be avoided are presented. Identifying stakeholders and their roles are also discussed.
17. The Mission-Driven Faculty Reward System Robert M. Diamond
Discusses characteristics of a strong faculty reward system, myths about tenure and key problem areas that should be addressed in your policies and procedures. A functional definition of scholarship and a checklist you can use to assess the quality of your present reward system are also included.
Part V Other Issues
18. Supportive Financial Systems Susan Stetson Clarke
A discussion of the components and the desired qualities of an effective and supportive financial system with a particular emphasis on academic and financial operations relationships and integration. Includes an institutional checklist on budget, resources, and innovation.
19. Enhancing Student Learning Through Collaboration Between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs George D. Kuh and Sara E. Hinkle
Highlights the important relationship between academic and student affairs functions. What research tells us on the conditions that promote productive collaboration. Includes a discussion of your role in overcoming obstacles and developing a fruitful collaboration.
20. Dealing with Technology: Administrative Issues Steven W. Gilbert and Stephen C. Ehrmann
Debunks the myths and misconceptions, and obstacles to the effective use of technology. Discusses potential benefits, an administrative strategy for using technology, and common issues.
21. Diversity Issues Joseph H. Silver, Sr.
Discusses transforming a culture to support diversity, including assessing your present climate, getting an initiative underway, and the role of individuals in different leadership positions. Includes specific suggestions on recruitment, hiring and retention, and a list of common pitfalls.
Part VI Position-Specific Issues for Academic Leaders
22. The Role of Governing Boards: Issues, Recommendations, and Resources
Discusses the common problems of governance, the role of governing boards, and specific recommendations for action from a report on the academic presidency of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Includes recommended resources.
23. Creating Change: Suggestions for the New President Kenneth A. Shaw
Discusses roles of the president and different styles, what to do before you take office and in your first year, what you need to know, including the importance of self-knowledge, and how to get an initiative underway.
24. Transforming the Small College: A Challenge for Presidential Leadership Eugene Hotchkiss
Highlights the unique characteristics and challenges of a small college. your role and the role of others in implementing change and how these challenges are different at a small institution.
25. Presidents and Chief Academic Officers of Community Colleges Louis S. Albert
A discussion of community colleges in the context of American Higher Education. A focus on academic leadership and institutional effectiveness and high priority areas that are particularly important at community colleges.
26. Chief Academic Officers Leo M. Lambert
Key relationships and the role of the chief academic officer are discussed. Includes a description of the personal characteristics of effective CAOs.
27. Academic Deans Deryl R. Leaming
Discusses the unique responsibilities of deans, the importance of knowing yourself, collaborative leadership, and distinctions between leading and managing. Includes advice for a newly appointed dean and a "behavior audit" for learning more about yourself.
28. Chairs as Institutional Leaders Daniel W. Wheeler
What an effective chair needs to know about the institution, the department and his or her role. Includes recommendations for action and a checklist you can use to clarify goals and expectations.
Part VII In Conclusion
29. Some Final Observations Robert M. Diamond
Discusses learning from others, getting an initiative started, common barriers to change and overcoming them, fundraising and institutional development, and a look at the future. Concludes with some final thoughts on leadership.
Part VIII A Glossary of Academic Terms
About the Authors
Participants in the Minnowbrook meetings
To the Reader
As an academic leader, you are in a position to make a differencea difference in the quality of your institution, in the lives of your faculty and staff, in the community your institution serves, and in the lives of your students. As part of your responsibility, you will need to make many decisions in a staggering array of areas from budget and facilities to programs and personnel issues. You will often find yourself the buffer between opposing viewpoints, between your institution and the surrounding community and between students, faculty, alumni and donors. In addition, change is constant, and so the knowledge and information you need to be an effective leader is always expanding.
If your institution is to be responsive to the needs of a changing world, it will rest on you and your colleagues in leadership positions. Deciding to act is the first essential step, but it is meaningless if you and others do not have a clear vision and commitment and the knowledge and skills to lead a successful change process. Your role in bringing about significant and long-lasting institutional change is the focus of the Field Guide to Academic Leadership. The Guide is designed to provide you with information and suggestions for action and administrative practice around a range of issues.
Whether you came to your present position from outside of higher education, as a growing number of chief executives do, or came up through the academic ranks, it’s unlikely that you feel fully prepared for the challenges you face, the decisions you must make, and the leadership you are called on to provide. The Field Guide has been specifically designed to assist you by blending what research tells us about leadership, change, and teaching and learning with the practical expertise and insights of academic leaders and researchers from around the country.
In addition, a number of chapters will address the need for cooperation and collaboration among leaders and units across your institution to avoid the "silo" mentality that is so common on many campuses. Whenever units work in isolation, when cooperation becomes difficult, and when trust evaporates, the institution suffers. The primary goal of the Field Guide is to facilitate improvement of colleges and universities by strengthening the quality of academic programs and services provided.
Finding what you need quickly
While the Field Guide for Academic Leadership can serve as a primer on leadership and change in higher education, it has been organized so that you can find the information you need on a specific topic as easily as possible. The emphasis is on practical information and suggestions. While much of the material is research-based, our goal is to get to the important points as quickly as possible. If you are interested in an in-depth review of the literature, a list of resources is included at the end of most chapters. For practical purposes, the guide is divided into several broad topical areas:
Part I The Basics
The two chapters in this section provide the foundation for the Field Guide for Academic Leadership. Chapter I reviews the many forces for change now impacting higher education, while Chapter II introduces what we believe are the essential elements for significant and long-lasting changes at colleges and universities.
Part II Leadership
The four chapters in this section focus on leadership, the need for clear mission and vision statements, and common challenges and problems you can anticipate in your role as an institutional leader. Also included in this section is a chapter that focuses on interactional styles and preferences. Knowing about your own personal style and understanding others’ interactional preferences can enhance your effectiveness in dealings with others.
Part III Academics
In this, the longest section of the guide, our focus shifts to the primary function of a college or universityteaching and learning. The authors provide you with a solid base on educational research and its implications for teaching, student learning and development and evaluation and assessment. Also included are practical chapters on curriculum and course design, educational technology, new instructional methodologies, developing a strong advising system, and how faculty development can support on-going institutional improvement.
Part IV Assessment
Good long-term decision making requires the collection and use of solid information. In this section of the Guide, you will find chapters on assessment at the department, unit, or program level, leadership in faculty evaluation, and the faculty reward system as a lever for change. These discussions follow an introductory chapter that places evaluation and assessment in a broader institutional context.
Part V Other Issues
As an academic leader, you are required to deal with a wide variety of difficult issues. In this section several of the more complex but fairly common, organizational issues are highlighted. Included are chapters on improving cooperation between academic and fiscal affairs, collaboration between academic and student affairs, administrative issues relating to the use and investment in technology, and the important issue of campus diversity.
Part VI Position Specific Issues
Those in different positions have different responsibilities in the change process, and roles and responsibilities vary across institutions of different types. Consequently, Part VI includes chapters written specifically for trustees and regents, for new presidents, presidents of smaller institutions, leaders at community colleges, chief academic officers, deans and department chairs. While a specific chapter may address your present position, you will find relevant information in chapters addressed to others. For example, a self-inventory described in the chapter for deans could be used by anyone in a leadership role.
Part VII Final Observations
It was impossible to address all of the important issues facing academic leaders within the chapter structure. In this section, we take up a number of these topics. We also take this opportunity to tie together a number of themes that seem to loom large in the future of higher education.
The Glossary of Academic Terms
All too often we find ourselves inundated with ill-defined terms and surrounded by subject matter specialists individuals who assume that everyone around them shares their working vocabulary. In addition, over recent years, new jargon has evolved from the change literature and from the assessment movement. Some of these terms have been defined in the body of the Field Guide, but we thought a glossary might be helpful as well. To assist us, each author recommended specific terms for inclusion. You will find the glossary at the back of the Field Guide.
As you read the various chapters, you will note a number of recurring themes. In many ways these fundamental points serve as a foundation on which the Field Guide stands.
- Each institution needs clearly articulated mission and vision statements that address the needs of students and society and are supported by everyone at the institution.
- Each unit of the institution must have its own statement of priorities that specifically support this mission and vision.
- Students’ learning and development are the primary function of colleges and universities.
- Research on change, leadership, learning and teaching, and knowledge of your institutional culture must be at the foundation of decision making.
- Academic leaders must have a vision for their institution and a clear understanding of the process needed to get there.
- Institutional change does not happen by chance; it requires effective and integrated leadership throughout the institution.
- Successful leaders require a wide array of knowledge and skills and an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Continuous monitoring of quality and the collection and use of data is optimal for good decsison-making.
- The need for change and for professional development for faculty and staff at all levels is important and on-going.
In Summary: From Research to Practice
Almost twenty years ago(1984), Peter Ewell made the following observation about American higher education:
Given that we have constructed a culture in higher education that appears so publicly to value information, it is surprising how little of it we tend to have about ourselves. And more surprising is the fact that what works and what does not in particular colleges and universities has had but little effect on actual teaching and administration (p. 5).
While the last two decades have seen an increase in our knowledge about how students learn, about leadership and change, and about how institutions work, there has been, over the same period, little change in how this information is used. It has been a goal of the Field Guide to help close this gap between research and practice. We hope to help you to be an effective agent of change by providing you with the best information possible, in a way that is practical and direct. I hope we’ve succeeded.
We wish you well in your efforts to enhance the quality of your institution and the experience of your students.
Robert M. Diamond
St. Petersburg, FL
Ewell, P. (1984). The self-regarding institution: Information for excellence.