higher education administration April 20, 2018

Zen and the Art of Higher Education Administration

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One of the best books on how to be an academic leader actually has nothing to do with higher education administration. Daniel Levin’s The Zen Book (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2005) is a combination of introduction to Buddhist practice and guide to daily life. It is also a wonderful summary of principles that are useful to any academic leader. Consider the following.


The Cost of Leadership November 6, 2017

The Cost of Leadership

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As a recently retired academic leader—a former department chair, division head, dean, vice president, provost, and interim president—I have had time to reflect on the joys and woes of leadership at a small liberal arts college. What successes did I have? What failures? What could I have done differently that would have made my college a better institution? “Too soon old and too late smart,” an old saying goes. But there is some value in ex post facto assessments, yes?


stress, work August 25, 2017

Creating Space, Relieving Stress, and Making the Job More Enticing

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One downside of the chair position, aside from the heavy workload, is that it leaves little time to do the work that they originally joined the academy to do—research and individual scholarship. Yet, at the same time, a strong majority of those contributing to these surveys indicate that they are satisfied with their role as chair. Results also indicate growing stress levels among chairs.