Surviving a Leadership Transition
Leadership changes in the upper administration can be stressful for chairs and deans. We’ve all seen situations in which a new chancellor or president arrives, and between six months and a year later, there’s an entirely new team of vice presidents. Sometimes entire divisions are reorganized. Offices are moved from the supervision of the provost and vice president of student affairs to create a new center for enrollment management, or an existing division of enrollment management is dissolved, and the people who worked in it are reassigned to the provost and vice president of student affairs. At times, too, new CEOs like to bring in their own team, usually people they worked well with at their previous institutions. (On why such a move is almost always a mistake, see Buller 2016.) A new vice president for academic affairs is often followed by the hiring of new deans, a new dean by new chairs, and so on.
How to Have a Difficult Conversation: 7 Rules
Difficult conversations are inevitable in any organization. Understanding how they arise and how they play out can help minimize the disruption without avoiding the issue or alienating those involved. The way an academic leader handles a difficult conversation can have a major effect on how the issue gets resolved. In an interview with Academic Leader, Gail Whitelaw, director of Ohio State University’s speech-language hearing clinic, offered her recommendations for managing these conversations.
Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership
Online learning has “gone from a wild frontier to a more established professional [undertaking],” says Jay Halfond of Boston University, Senior Fellow of the UPCEA Center for Online Leadership and Strategy and Chair of the National Task Force on the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership. As the field of online education has matured, the need has arisen for standards and benchmarks that challenge university leaders to hold themselves accountable to practices that demonstrate commitment to online education and its place in the university.
Leading Change Amid Opposition
When Amanda Gingery Hostalka became chair of art and visual communication design at Stevenson University, one of her priorities was to make sure that learning outcomes for every track and major aligned with the department’s and institution’s missions. The importance of this task was heightened by the department’s upcoming move into a new building.
Overcoming the Pipeline Myth: Department Chairs as Transformative Diversity Leaders
For at least three decades, the myth of a lack of diversity in the faculty pipeline has lingered in academic circles. And surprisingly, the role of the department chair in building a diverse faculty has received little attention in most chair handbooks and resources. Yet arguably, the department chair occupies the most pivotal position in colleges and universities in building inclusive and diverse learning environments. Strategically positioned between the faculty and the administration, chairs are responsible for the coordination of major academic decisions that include appointments, tenure and promotion, curricular changes, pedagogical approaches, and student learning outcomes. Our new book, The Department Chair as Transformative Diversity Leader (Stylus, 2015), is the first research-based resource on the chair’s role in diversity transformation. Drawing on a substantial survey and interview sample of department chairs from across the nation, we found that strategies for hiring a diverse faculty to address the underrepresentation of women and minorities are at the forefront of department chairs’ minds.