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.
Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 51 (4), 48-54. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2019).
Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty. The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Click here to download the full textAbstract(2015).
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.
Perspectives on What Pre-Tenure Faculty Want and What Six Research Universities Provide. http://coache.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-coache/files/coache_perspectives.pdf?m=1447624837 . Cambridge, Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Publisher's Version(2008).
A New Generation of Faculty: Similar Core Values in a Different World. Peer Review , 12 (3), 27-30. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2010).
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.
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(2016).
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.