Women-only professorships

Posted in Governance and administration on July 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In their analysis of the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI), Muireann Lynch and Selina McCoy urge consideration of its ‘unintended consequences’ (‘Will female-only professorships make the difference?’, Opinion and Analysis, July 15th). One such consequence, they argue, is that ‘professors generally do less teaching than lecturers, so the visibility of women to students may best be improved by gender balance at all levels’ …” (more)

[Niall Madden, Irish Times, 24 July]

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Facing up to the Existence of the Jerk

Posted in Governance and administration on January 14th, 2019 by steve

“As stories of harassment and bullying multiply in the media (social and otherwise), it is worth thinking about what it is in management and leadership that lets situations get out of hand. Too often I hear the phrase that someone is ‘on the spectrum’ provided as a rationale for why they aren’t too good at interpersonal relationships within a lab or team …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 13 January]

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Universities and the leadership riddle

Posted in Governance and administration on November 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“For 18 years, between 2000 and 2018, I held the leadership position in two universities. During that time I was interviewed several times by journalists and student reporters, and the one question I always found particularly difficult to answer was this: what was my ‘leadership style’? …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 6 November]

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Higher education leadership – for sharing?

Posted in Governance and administration on September 26th, 2017 by steve

“Shared leadership has become a popular (if not always well understood) concept in recent times, and has been a topic of analysis within higher education. The academy was traditionally seen as a collegiate body in which a ceremonial primacy was granted to one of its own in return for collegiality in decision-making and governance …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 25 September]

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Academia too reliant on ‘accidental leadership development’

Posted in Governance and administration on July 28th, 2016 by steve

UK“Universities are relying too much on ‘accidental’ leadership training for those about to take over academic departments, a study claims. Identifying a culture of ‘institutional neglect’ of potential future academic middle managers, the report published in the journal Higher Education Policy found that many departments are led by those with no formal training who had been asked to pick up complex and diverse managerial duties with very little support …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 27 July]

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Academics Anonymous: an open letter to university ‘leaders’

Posted in Governance and administration on August 8th, 2014 by steve

“Dear leaders, I address you as ‘leaders’ because, for some reason perhaps manager comes too close to rhyming with janitor for your liking, you’ve increasingly taken to styling yourselves in this way. How grand. How imposing. How spurious …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 8 August]

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The myth of the strong leader

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2014 by steve

“Are there any lessons from the study of political leadership that are transferable to education? Leadership depends greatly on context, yet there are illusions that are quite widespread among both political and educational selectorates. One such fancy involves overcompensating for the failings of the previous leader …” (more)

[Archie Brown, Times Higher Education, 10 April]


Lost leaders – Women in the global academy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 13th, 2014 by steve

International“Women have never been better represented in higher education than they are today. Globally, female students outnumber male students in two out of every three countries, according to data reported to UNESCO …” (more)

[Louise Morley, University World News, 10 January]

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Universities are not Innovation Bootcamps

Posted in Governance and administration on September 8th, 2013 by steve

“Irish universities remits and units are shrinking in most areas, with one exception it seems. There has been a growth over the last number of years in university-based industrial incubators …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 8 September]

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Leadership in Irish education

Posted in Governance and administration on March 19th, 2013 by steve

“We hear about leadership all the time. In politics it’s used as a cop out when you want to make a decision without listening, in life it’s expounded on by ‘dragons’ with four hours of sleep a night and a ‘headcount’ to reduce. But what is leadership in education? …” (more)

[levdavidovic, 18 March]

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Leadership in higher education: this much we (don’t yet) know

Posted in Governance and administration on February 18th, 2013 by steve

“New research uncovers a persistent belief in, and demand for, inspirational university leadership but an equally deep vein of resistance from the sector …” (more)

[Jacky Lumby, Guardian Professional, 18 February]


What makes an academic leader?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 11th, 2013 by steve

Sweden“In comparison with business and political leaders, leaders in academia appear different (and I use mostly the Swedish/European case as example for my ideas). At least in Swedish universities, academic leadership is collegial and limited in time …” (more)

[Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Inside Higher Ed, 10 February]


The Imperfect University: what do we know about HE leadership?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2013 by steve

“Not a lot, seems to be the answer. I’ve written a bit before in the Imperfect University series about leadership in universities. There is a new report out which seeks to sum up what we know about leadership in HE …” (more)

[Registrarism, 23 January]


Leadership, Management and Role Models

Posted in Governance and administration on September 30th, 2012 by steve

“This week I participated in a conversation on leadership issues in front of an audience of women leaders from the Museum world. The conversation, facilitated/chaired by Vivienne Parry, was with Professor Anne Johnson, an epidemiologist from UCL whom I had never met before …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 30 September]

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The Imperfect University: who should lead universities?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2012 by steve

“Academics make the best university leaders. Or do they? For the first piece in this series I thought it would be appropriate to revisit and develop a post from early in 2011 on leadership in universities. The focus here is very much on the who rather than the how of university leadership …” (more)

[Registrarism, 1 February]

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The leadership vacuum in higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on November 1st, 2011 by steve

“Like many other sectors of the US economy, higher education is suffering. State universities have been on the receiving end of significant legislative budget cuts for the past four years. And as they have increased tuition to make up for the lost revenue, they have gotten an earful from students, parents and state legislators …” (more)

[Paul Portney, Washington Post, 31 October]

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‘Socrates in the Boardroom’ – Leadership of modern universities (selection committees pay attention, please!)

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2010 by steve

“Review of what looks like a very interesting new book on leadership in the modern university. Bottom line: scholars not managers! …” (more)

[Shane O’Mara, Irishscience, 29 January]

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Do Top Scholars Make the Best University Leaders?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2010 by steve

“Yes, says Amanda Goodall. Here’s a summary and here’s some commentary. Her argument is based on inside knowledge, the ability to set appropriate standards, signaling, and legitimacy …” (more)

[Peter Klein, Organizations and Markets, 8 January]


Tackling higher education’s leadership scarcity

Posted in Governance and administration on April 19th, 2009 by steve

USA“Higher education leadership search committees are faced with an uncomfortable reality: it is increasingly difficult to find superior candidates. In addition, once a position is filled, another pain point often emerges – the average number of years that a leader stays in a particular position continues to decline. What was once considered questionable or marginal tenure in a role is becoming increasingly common and accepted. It is no less concerning, however – three years, for example, remains a very short time to demonstrate substantive leadership impact. This smaller pool of qualified candidates – some of whom then go on to have relatively short tenures after assuming their positions – impacts on colleges and universities in two direct, significant ways. First, the process of conducting searches needs to be more strategic and rigorous, and second, institutions must learn how to grow leadership talent with more purpose and care …” (more)

[David Mead-Fox, University World News, 19 April]