Leadership within Collaborating Communitiies

Just what is collaboration?

That concept, as we use it, goes beyond communication, cooperation, and coordination. As its Latin roots– com and laborare– indicate, it means "to work together."

It is a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more parties who work toward common goals by sharing responsibility, authority, and accountability for achieving results. Collaboration is more than a relationship that helps each part achieve its own goals (cooperation and coordination). The purpose of collaboration is to create a shared vision and joint strategies to address concerns that go beyond the purview of any particular party.

– David D. Chrislip and Carl E. Larson. Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference. 1994.

Leaders within these communities understand what works in ensuring student persistence and success in study of STEM fields. In these collaborating communities, people work together believing their collective actions will be capitalized and leveraged and the results of their collaborating can and will be sustained.

Leaders within these collaborating communities are also committed to action, as they undertake to:

  • know who their students are, understanding clearly if and how students are learning and the reasons for success or failure

  • analyze the changing world in which their graduates will live and work and shape programs to prepare students well for their future

  • energize gifted leaders in its ranks, giving them the flexibility, responsibility and resources to realize their vision for student learning

  • identify key questions at critical stages in the ongoing process of renewal, and see that these questions are asked and addressed in a context of mutual respect and shared commitment

  • build collaborations that connect colleagues within and beyond their campus, developing partnerships that dissolve boundaries within the academy and within the larger community of stakeholders

  • assess, reassess and, as needed, reshape key policies and practices

  • make significant investments in the human and physical infrastructure

  • keep examining the vision, broadening the discussion, redefining the challenges, asking what next.