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Category: Leadership and Management

Pareena Lawrence, dean and chief academic officer of Augustana College, says that faculty need to take on a different and more active leadership role in order to meet the demands of the 21st-century higher education landscape. “There is limited space in the traditional system of shared governance to share with faculty leadership the rapid changes in higher education. It seems like sometimes I have a lot of information, but they have to make some of the decisions as part of shared governance without access to much of this information. And there’s no committee on campus that’s looking at long-term trends or threats that should concern us,” she says.

Part of the problem is that institutions are so discipline- based and committees are often task t-based, that  “it doesn’t allow for these conversations to happen with most faculty together such that we can come to joint decisions,” Lawrence says.

In addition, there appears to be less of an emphasis on developing faculty leaders than on developing student leaders. “We talk about student leadership. Look at our mission statements. We want students to be leaders. We want them to be adaptable to a changing world. We don’t use that language for faculty. We don’t say we want our faculty to be leaders. We don’t say we want them to be adaptable to a changing world,” Lawrence says.

Here are Lawrence’s recommendations for encouraging faculty members to get involved in institutional leadership: