Leadership & Institutional Change
- Field Guide to Academic Leadership
- Changing Higher Education: Realistic Goal or Wishful Thinking?
- Leadership and Change
- Critical Components of Departmental Success
- Effecting Transformation and Institutional Change
- The Human Dimension: Observations About The Change Process
- The Institutional Change Agency: The Expanding Role of Academic Support Centers
- Transforming the Environment for Learning: A Crises of Quality
- Recommended Readings and Websites
Are you participating in a major initiative to improve the quality of learning on your campus? Are you on a committee chartered to develop and implement a plan for assessing student learning? improving retention? integrating technology into academic programs? relating the faculty reward system to instructional priorities? Redesigning a curriculum? assessing a unit or program?. Whatever the challenge is you are facing, you will need to be prepared to address two major issues. First, the process of change itself and the conditions you will need to establish if your initiative is to be successful and second, the unique challenges associated with the specific focus of your effort and what you can learn from the research on the topic and the experiences of others.
In this section of the Academy website we focus on why significant change is needed in higher education and on the process of change and your role in it. In the resources section of this site you will find materials grouped by the area of focus; teaching and learning, curriculum, technology, assessment, faculty rewards etc. Again, keep in mind that it is as important to pay attention to process as it is to be knowledgeable in the specific area of interest.
One of the most important steps in any change effort is the first one the leader of any initiative needs to take; selecting the specific process that will be followed: determining who should be involved and when, identifying the key questions that must be asked, the issues that must be addressed and what actions are required before others can be taken. All too often, it is mistakes here, at the front end, that determine if a project will ultimately succeed or fail. Fortunately there are a number of excellent change models in existence that the leader of a team can choose from and build on. One highly practical generic model, developed by John P. Kotter, is cited in the recommended reading at the end of this section. Others, that are more specific to a specific focus, often with related case studies, are located in the resources section for that topic. Before beginning any initiative, the leader of the initiative should take the time review these approaches and the select the one or a combination of models that are most appropriate for the goals of the project and compatible with the styles of the institution. Time spent at the beginning in selected the appropriate change process can save untold frustration and reduce or eliminate many of the problems that would otherwise occur.