Higher Education Leadership

AAC&U 2020 Annual Meeting: Four Faculty-Focused Tracks Through the Agenda

COACHE research on the professoriate is shaping the future of higher education leadership, so we are eager to attend next week’s annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, “Shaping the Future of Higher Education: An Invitation to Lead.” While the program is characteristically overflowing with opportunities to learn and to network, we have identified four tracks through the January 22-25 schedule where we expect...

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Where the Faculty Affairs Things Are (Now): Conferences and Convenings Updated

by Kiernan Mathews

 

Several years ago, I observed here that the assistant, associate, and vice provosts and deans with institution-wide responsibility for faculty success (I call them “chief faculty affairs officers” or CFAOs) often find themselves alone on their campuses. Without a community of practice in...

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Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions
Norman, B. (2019). Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 51 (4), 48-54. Publisher's VersionAbstract

There is renewed interest in shared governance in American higher education. This evidence-based, exploratory study of faculty leadership identifies indicators of health and promising practices for shared stewardship. It also provides follow up questions for senior leaders to assess the state of faculty leadership and shared governance on their own campuses. The findings are based on interviews with chief academic officers or faculty officers and chief elected faculty leaders at exemplar institutions of various types (baccalaureate, masters, research). These institutions were identified as exemplars through a national faculty satisfaction survey by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). The author argues for an expansive view of faculty leadership as a key component of institutional resilience and the aim of shared stewardship.

Sharing Data with Faculty: The Paradox of Transparency

by Todd Benson

 

Today, higher education institutions are using more and more data to drive decision-making. This is a good thing, however, when leaders need to include faculty in decision making and execution offering the right amount of data is of paramount importance. Faculty are, by their training, critical consumers of data and not sharing everything could be interpreted as the administration spinning the results. On the other hand, sharing every single data point can lead to an unfocused...

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Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty
Ott, M. W., & Mathews, K. (2015). Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty. The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Click here to download the full textAbstract
The COACHE research-practice partnership is designed to enact organizational change for the benefit of faculty and, by extension, the institution. But does every college's system of shared governance have what it takes to meet their own or, indeed, higher education’s most pressing challenges? This white paper looks beyond the rhetoric toward a more differentiated understanding of the ingredients of effective academic governance. Ott and Mathews offer a five-factor framework grounded in the literature, developed from interviews, and, now, tested in a survey of thousands of faculty. The report concludes with advice for assessing and fostering the qualities of “hard” and “soft” governance practices essential to sustainable change in the “real world” decision-making of committees, assemblies, senates, councils, and unions.
A New Generation of Faculty: Similar Core Values in a Different World.
Trower, C. (2010). A New Generation of Faculty: Similar Core Values in a Different World. Peer Review , 12 (3), 27-30. Publisher's VersionAbstract

While tenure-track faculty may want the same things as their predecessors, younger Boomers (born 1956-1963) and Gen X faculty live and work in a very different world than older Boomers (born 1946-1955) and Traditionalists (born before 1946). Because of this, Gen Xers, in particular, have been vocal about wanting increased flexibility, greater integration of their work and home lives, more transparency of tenure and promotion processes, a more welcoming, diverse, and supportive workplace/department, and more frequent and helpful feedback about progress.

Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction
Trower, C. (2012). Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction (pp. 288) . Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Landing a tenure-track position is no easy task. Achieving tenure is even more difficult. Under what policies and practices do faculty find greater clarity about tenure and experience higher levels of job satisfaction? And what makes an institution a great place to work?

In 2005–2006, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty at 200 participating institutions to assess their job satisfaction. The survey was designed around five key themes for faculty satisfaction: tenure clarity, work-life balance, support for research, collegiality, and leadership.

Success on the Tenure Track positions the survey data in the context of actual colleges and universities and real faculty and administrators who talk about what works and why. Best practices at the highest-rated institutions in the survey—Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina at Pembroke—give administrators practical, proven advice on how to increase their employee satisfaction. Additional chapters discuss faculty demographics, trends in employment practices, what leaders can do to create and sustain a great workplace for faculty, and what the future might hold for tenure.

An actively engaged faculty is crucial for American higher education to retain its global competitiveness. Cathy Ann Trower’s analysis provides colleges and universities a considerable inside advantage to get on the right track toward a happy, productive workforce.

Administrative Hierarchy and Faculty Work: Examining Faculty Satisfaction with Academic Leadership
Miller, M. T., Mamiseishvili, K., & Lee, D. (2016). Administrative Hierarchy and Faculty Work: Examining Faculty Satisfaction with Academic Leadership. Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education , 12 (1), 1-7. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Academic administrators at all levels have some impact on the performance of faculty members, yet each level of administration may interact differently with faculty. Literature has strongly supported the notion that department chairs, deans, and provosts can positively influence the performance and livelihood of faculty members. This study was designed to explore faculty satisfaction with each level of academic administration making use of the 2014 survey data collected by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. We found that faculty members at research universities were more satisfied with leadership at the departmental than college or institutional levels. Furthermore, assistant professors were significantly more satisfied with academic leadership at all levels than both associate and full professors.
Data, Leadership, and Catalyzing Culture Change
Benson, T., & Trower, C. (2012). Data, Leadership, and Catalyzing Culture Change. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 44 (4), 27-34. Publisher's VersionAbstract

As the national economy has worsened, a large cadre of tenured senior faculty is graying and staying at their institutions. This has left an older set of full professors who began their careers in a very different era, an overworked and underappreciated set of associate professors, and a group of assistant professors who are wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?”

By and large, tenure-track faculty want what they have always wanted: clear and reasonable tenure requirements; support for teaching and research; an environment that allows them to juggle responsibilities at work and home; and a set of colleagues to whom they can turn for mentoring, collaborations, intellectual stimulation, and friendship.

How One University is Creating Sustainable Faculty/Administrator Working Groups

by Todd Benson

Recently I had the chance to speak with Berit Gundersen at the University of the Pacific. As the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Gundersen lead the initiative to bring the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction survey to the University of the Pacific in 2014. In our discussion, she mentioned that even years later, faculty and administrators are discussing the results - even during a dinner at the President’s home this past spring. It made me wonder what aspects of their approach allowed...

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APLU Members React: Forging Effective Partnerships to Sustain Institutional Change

Moderator: Beth Mitchneck, Program Director for ADVANCE, National Science Foundation
Panelists: Kimberlee Shauman, Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of ADVANCE, University of California, Davis; Loretta A. Moore, Interim Vice President for Research and Federal Relations and Professor of Computer Science, Jackson State University; Susan Carlson, Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, University of California, Office of the President

At this year’s meeting of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, a session brought together...

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