Excerpt from Investing in Faculty
Benchmarks of Excellence: The Leadership Perspective

F21 Leadership Institute alumni working at the 2001 PKAL Summer Institute developed a set of benchmarks of excellence on the leadership. Through assigned readings, case studies and group activities, participants considered critical leadership issues: the politics of reform, the impact of societal changes on higher education, the new demands for a well-equipped work force, the challenges of an increasingly diverse student body. The benchmarks listed below are based on this reflective process and an analysis of evaluation surveys from alumni, their senior administrators and Institute mentors.

Faculty leaders:

  • Demonstrate willingness to take intellectual and pedagogical risks, and are actively engaged:
    • in exploring and developing new curricular approaches
    • in teaching, research and learning across traditional disciplinary boundaries
    • in pursuing cutting-edge questions in their field of research interest
    • in seeking external support for their scholarly work
    • as a departmental advocate for science, being assertive in pressing their case with the powers that be and within the larger campus community
    • with outreach to the community beyond the campus.
  • Demonstrate heightened self-awareness in both their professional and personal lives, and in the interaction of the two, by:
    • making time for reflection
    • thinking about the appropriateness of vocation/work
    • engaging others in the discussion of such issues
    • being willing to seek advice and guidance in these areas
    • being available as a good colleague and mentor.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for differences:
    • among their colleagues in styles of working/teaching among their students in styles of learning
    • based on culture and gender
    • of activities for individuals and those designed for teams.
  • Are active disseminators of best practices in:
    • bringing new pedagogies into the curriculum
    • engaging students with the content of science/mathematics
    • infusing research into the educational experience
    • leadership in higher education.