Don’t They See? Faculty Leadership Matters.
Judith S. White provides advice on how to engage more faculty members in leadership roles.
Judith S. White
January 11, 2017
Talking with a new dean at the end of the year, I heard a question that chairs, deans and provosts often pose when they are confused and frustrated that faculty members they’ve asked to take on leadership roles in their departments or programs have turned them down: “Don’t they see how much their leadership matters?” In principle, yes. In practice, maybe not.
This dean was particularly stumped because -- to her and the chairs in her school -- it is clear that the school has many new initiatives underway and that having the activities shaped, assessed and refined by faculty members is vital to their success. “How do I convince them their leadership matters?”
At the outset, I suggested to her that she needed to be clear that their leadership really will matter. Do the leadership roles she has in mind truly require faculty members’ efforts? Are they worth the time away from other faculty responsibilities? Can she make a good case that the leadership activities she’s requesting will be crucial to successful teaching and research at her institution? If so, it will be important that she make that case and create conditions in which faculty members can see their work making a difference to academic excellence.https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2017/01/11/how-engage-more-faculty-leadership-roles-essay