Colleges look to leadership incubators for next wave of executives
- The Chronicle profiles the Rutgers Leadership Academy, which since 2015 has helped more than 20 professors access tutelage from deans and provosts about models of leadership and how to advance their careers in teaching through tenure and promotion.
- The academy courses, which are offered both online and in-person, provide dialog on topics like accreditation, roles of leadership and strategies for engaging diverse stakeholders.
- The training modules, offered at other schools like the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina, help faculty to realize that skills learned for teaching and some administration are not the same ones most-needed for high-level academic positions or presidencies.
The conversation about how to develop leaders eerily parallels the dialog about how much students and graduates still need liberal arts to be successful professionals. Soft skills like communication with different groups of people, budget management, and accreditation interpretation are at the core of what makes this training necessary and helpful to the trajectories of mid-career faculty members and the sustainability of college leadership.
Colleges should consider investing the time and urging leaders to participate in these modules to support the cultivation of succession planning and the boosting of faculty morale. Both of these efforts can support higher quality and investment in the learning environment, just from faculty members knowing that continuing in the field, or even on a particular campus, is part of a larger institutional vision of success.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education How to cultivate faculty leaders