By: Georgia Beaverson
Edgewood College’s beautiful wooded campus is situated on Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin, in a mixed-use neighborhood not far from the western edge of the University of Wisconsin engineering campus. The college’s neighbors include middle-income homeowners, university students and other renters, and small businesses and restaurants.
“Madison is a more progressive city, so environmental issues are important to the neighbors,” says Denis Collins, a business professor at Edgewood who teaches business and management ethics.
By: Jeffrey L. Buller, PhD
The very first house I bought was a condominium, and the purchase price included 10 hours of service by an electrician. The idea was that each owner would want to customize the unit with special lighting fixtures and built-in appliances, and covering the cost of the electrician was intended to be a selling point. I was just starting out as a college professor and far too strapped for cash to afford luxuries like special fixtures and appliances, so my 10 hours of included service lasted me for several years. Each time one of my unit’s floodlights would burn out, rather than climbing up on a ladder myself, I’d call the manager’s office and have the electrician come do it for me. After having done so four or five times, I heard the manager sigh and say, “You know, an electrician is certainly capable of changing lightbulbs; it just seems to me that you’re wasting a perfectly fine electrician by having him do so.”
By: James O. Hammons
A major role of every academic leader is to help faculty do well. For those of us who work in institutions where becoming a productive scholar is an absolute prerequisite to earning tenure, “doing well” implies developing a scholarship agenda, and “working” a plan.
Ensuring that new faculty get off to a good start is a very important component of any successful plan. All too often we spend limited travel funds and go to extraordinary efforts to recruit promising candidates only to see them leave our institution because they realize they are not on track to earn tenure. Some, realizing they will not do well, leave as they approach their three year review. Others stay until they fail their sixth year “up or out” review. Both cases represent a lose-lose situation.
By: Aaron Basko
Part of the responsibility of managers in the enrollment field is to prepare developing professionals for the future. While there are certainly opportunities for formal professional development through national and regional conferences, these opportunities are not sufficient for forming well-rounded leaders. Although budget constraints often limit our ability to send junior staff members to a sufficient number of conferences, the events themselves are often more focused on content and knowledge transfer than on specific skill building. This is particularly true when it comes to helping staff develop their emotional intelligence, which is a critical tool for success in enrollment and all of higher education.
By: Jeffrey L. Buller, PhD
There are probably few tools we can use in academic leadership that seem less interesting than a checklist. But as Atul Gawande argued in The Checklist Manifesto (2010), checklists aren’t an excuse for mindlessness; they’re a recognition of how complex our lives have become. It’s the humble checklist that keeps us safe when a pilot makes a pre-safety inspection, and when a building inspector decides that a house is ready for a family to move in. Checklists don’t mean that our work as academic leaders can be reduced to guidelines in a policy manual. It means that our work is multifaceted and has an impact on the lives of others.
By: Rob Kelly
In his role as vice president of learning and student success at John Tyler Community College, Bill Fiege faces a wide variety of issues—dealing with student concerns, allocating resources, and managing change.
All issues have the potential for more significant conflict, and one of his goals is to address issues efficiently and effectively to minimize the amount of energy he (and others) must devote to them.
The following are some specific things he does to manage the issues he faces:
By: Aaron Basko
On a two-week recruitment trip to China and Japan, I asked our university partners in both countries how they addressed problems of retention. In both cases, my question elicited a blank look. Upon further questioning, I realized that retention is not the same type of challenge we experience at US institutions.
By: Rob Kelly
Doctoral students typically do not receive preparation for future academic leadership roles, a shortcoming of graduate education that Rutgers University’s PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) is seeking to fix.
In an interview with Academic Leader, Brent Ruben, PLDI director and executive director of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, and a distinguished professor of Communication, talked about the rationale for the program and progress to date.
By: Blase Scarnati, PhD and Michelle Miller, PhD
Picture a day when you’ve gathered your faculty together to have a substantive conversation about some pressing issue facing the institution. You explain the situation using terms such as revenue, the business of education, efficiencies, degree production, throughput, and the like. This may seem sensible given that, in part, universities function like businesses. As with our counterparts in the for-profit corporate world, we in education experience the reality of balancing budgets and making tough choices about how to steward limited financial resources.