Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

October 1: Reflections on the responsibilities of leaders in dealing with the politics of change

Essays, Stories & Reports:

  • A PKAL Essay: Guidelines for collaboration - the deans perspective
    This essay from PKAL Volume III outlines five specific "guidelines" for the work of committees with a leadership role in shaping new spaces for science. These guidelines - about finding consensus, respecting disagreement and diversity, etc. - are instructive for all committees working through the minefields of institutional change.

  • Faculty and the politics of change
    - Jane S. Halonen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of West Florida
    - Leonard W. ter Haar, Administrative Fellow to the Dean, University of West Florida
    - George Ellenberg, Associate Dean, University of West Florida
    A team from the University of West Florida describes some of its strategies designed to accomplish serious curricular changes. These changes would strengthen STEM learning on UWF's campus, which facilitates the collaborative "top-down" and "bottom-up" action that is the most effective means to realize meaningful change. The insights of Jane S. Halonen, Leonard W. ter Haar, and George Ellenberg suggest lessons learned in trying to promote an alliance for the sciences that shed some light on the politics of change.

  • The Characteristics of the Ideal Leader in PKAL's new publication, Leadership, includes an inventory on characteristics of the ideal leader: an inventory which captures themes from a variety of short essays, representing a wide range of sources presented in that publication.

    • A conversation between president and vice president on "A Willingness to Trust"
      - Daniel F. Sullivan, President, St. Lawrence University
      - Grant Cornwell, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, St. Lawrence University
      Two members of the PKAL National Steering Committee reflect on that inventory. President Daniel Sullivan and Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Grant Cornwell have a conversation about the willingness to trust and to admit mistakes (two characteristics listed in the inventory).

    • The "real" definition of the ideal leader
      - Gary Reiness, Dean of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Professor of Biology, Lewis and Clark College
      Gary Reiness argues with some of the implications about leadership suggested by that inventory in his reflective essay.

Responses by the PKAL F21 community:

PKAL is inviting Faculty for the 21st Century (F21) Members to respond to the lead Volume IV essays posted each week. In reflecting on the UWF team's essay, Faculty and the politics of change, Anne Houtman and Lisa Lewis suggest how the politics of change are dealt with in their campus communities in the essays below.

  • Comment on the essay, Faculty and the politics of change
    - Anne Houtman, Director of General Education Biology and Associate Professor of Biology, California State University - Fullerton
    Houtman adds to UWF's essay by reminding faculty not to forget the often overlooked steps necessary for implementing change.

  • The politics of change: creating a risk-taking campus culture
    - Lisa B. Lewis, Director of The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Institute and Associate Professor of Chemistry, Albion College
    Based on the essay Faculty and the Politics of Change and her own experiences, Lewis describes the critical characteristics of a campus that supports change and risk. She also emphasizes how faculty and administration must develop a similar language in achieving a vision of change

Resources from PKAL:

  • Indiana University Faculty Leadership Model
    - Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Kokomo
    A description of the formal program involving all eight campuses of the Indiana University system focused on developing- within the ranks of faculty- leaders as teachers, scholars and campus citizens. The premises of the program are that:

    • faculty leadership is non-positional
    • faculty leaders generate and direct energy
    • faculty leaders are accountable for outcomes
    • faculty leaders base action on information
    • faculty leaders create networking
    • faculty leaders build toward agreement
    • faculty leaders are emergent and flexible
    • faculty leaders shape discourse
    • faculty leaders are willing to take risks.

  • Key Characteristics of Good Departmental Leadership
    - Lee Willard, Associate Dean for Academic Planning and Special Projects, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University
    By creating a coalition around issues relating to intellectual life and intellectual curiosity, an academic leader can help develop a broad commitment to a vision that links to greater institutional goals.

Resources from other sources:

  • Effective Meeting Facilitation: The Sine Qua Non of Planning
    - Miranda Duncan, Community Development Specialist, University of Missouri - St. Louis
    The National Endowment for the Arts has developed an on-line resource for organizational planning for the nation's not-for-profit arts organizations. It is a rich resource for leaders in all settings and circumstances. Miranda Duncan's essay is a twenty-page bible, with sample forms, tools and checklists for meeting facilitators, an invaluable guide for each step of the process of building effective meetings.