Thursday, May 23, 2013

Leadership in Higher Education

For those of you who work in #highered, I would like you take a moment, and look around at your leaders and think about a few things. How did they get into that #leadership position, do they have the leadership qualifications, are they good friends with folks high up the food chain, how long do they last?
This piece is not a blame game, I am just pointing out facts:
1.      Leaders often are promoted because of longevity not skill set
2.      It is often who you know that matters
3.      Having a doctorate does not automatically make you a leader
4.      Leadership skills must constantly be renewed
5.      A lot of people promoted to leadership positions are not ready and go through a “trial by fire”
6.      How many institutions have a written succession plan or a leadership #training program that their staff can take?
I could ask many more questions, but I hope you get the point: sometimes we set people up for failure even though we do not mean to, sometimes the political choice is not the smart choice, and sometimes we have the wrong people in leadership.
“College Leader Takes Over Effort to Train New Campus Chiefs”
“After 15 years as president of Juniata College, a small, liberal-arts institution in Huntingdon, Pa., Thomas R. Kepple Jr. is about to take the reins at one of the country's few organizations that specialize in training potential college and university presidents”.
“He has no doubt that the task of coaching deans, provosts, and vice presidents for leadership roles will increase in urgency in the coming decade, because so many chief executives are nearing retirement in a time of great change”.
Why aren’t there more training programs like this? In #K12 education, if a person wants to become a principal they need to get another credential as well as have a certain amount of experience. Why don’t highered institutions have this?
If we have good leaders in place, that institute good policies and programs, we will have fewer incidents like this one:
“New Complaints Against Colleges on Sexual Assaults”
“Students, joined by civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, on Wednesday filed complaints against Dartmouth and Swarthmore Colleges, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Southern California over their handling of complaints of sexual assaults, The Los Angeles Times reported. The complaints -- filed with the U.S. Department of Education -- charge that the institutions have failed to adequately investigate reports of sexual assault or to accurate report such incidents as required by federal law. The charges are similar to those made recently with the Education Department about Occidental College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. College officials, while acknowledging periodic missteps, have generally said that they make every effort to comply with the relevant laws”.
Seems like a no brainer to me. We are educators right?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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