universities and colleges are to raise standards, status, and improve the
overall campus environment they must advance and improve their leadership
practices for higher education, which are needed in the 21st Century. The
effectiveness and efficiency of the university and college campus is an emerging
crisis - a crisis directly related to failed practices in certain areas of
leadership. The challenge for academe, more specifically leaders in academe, is
to initiate and follow new leadership practices that directly confront
unethical, failed and out-of-date methods of campus governance.
leaders of the 21st Century must re-cast their leadership practice to include
the following essential aspects of the ethical dimension:
(1) Leaders set
the tone for the ethical climate of their organizations. Members of Boards of
Regents and Trustees, presidents, vice presidents, deans, and others comprising
the academic leadership of the institution must, by deeds, speech, and action,
portray their commitment to high ethical standards.
(2) A clearly
understandable and set of ethical standards that can be adhered to must be
devised and articulated by the campus leadership. An unreachable or idealistic
ethical code will be breached in day-to-day or routine business - thus, diluting
the components that can be lived up to.
violations within the leadership hierarchy should be dealt with swiftly,
authoritatively, and affirmatively. The results of inquiries and investigations
into ethical lapses should be widely publicized.
Leadership unitage, that is, the quantity of leadership within a particular unit
of leadership, is significantly improved when all leaders in the institution are
empowered to lead their respective unit -teamwork increases productivity.
Critical actions that can be undertaken to improve the institutional climate
wherein team leadership can thrive are:
(1) Just as the
Boards of Regents and Trustees work as a team, so should the academe leadership
operating entities. No matter what they are called, problems, challenges,
opportunities, or issues, organizational activity requiring leader attention
should be pursued via a collaborative or shared effort.
those with new ideas are not considered team players. In the future, team
leadership must accommodate the innovative, create, and forward-thinking from
team members. Internal procedure must allow for exchanges of creative ideas -
sharing a particular new way or another new idea.
joint effort as often as individual effort is recognized.
teamwork through team building and training.
One of the
significant new initiatives to impact higher education is the "accountability
movement." Legislators, parents, students, government, accrediting bodies,
industry and business are all demanding that universities and colleges produce a
academic leader must:
visionary and "out-front" leadership in resolving academe's responsibility in
arriving at and establishing standards for graduation, guaranteed or warranted
degrees, and re-schooling or refresher education for graduates not deemed fully
prepared by industry or professions.
privatization of higher education must be investigated carefully to see if
certain services, activities, research and learning can be privatized or
"out-sourced." The balance between better services and lower cost must be
thoroughly examined in the framework of the mission, scope, and role of the
university or college.
Privatization demands results in change in the organizational structure. The new
paradigm of institution leadership calls for a special ability to wrench out of
the traditional bureaucracy an attitude that accepts and thrives on change.
as public schools are seeking new ways to join with the private sector to
fulfill their education mission so must higher education leaders explore
creative paths toward including the private sector in operating the university.
Global Thinking Leadership
Untied States of America leads the world in the number of other nation or
international students studying in U.S. institutions of higher education. These
students, many pursuing graduate degrees, return to their country to become
influential leaders. Such leaders often take a leading role in policy-making and
operational matters affecting world peace, war, and terrorism. Leadership in
this environment requires academic leadership that (1) Understands and projects
the global implications of the role of education on the grave matters of peace,
war, and the economy. (2) Academic leaders must develop grant contacts in the
home countries of international students so as to assist in the retention and
graduation of these students. Just as business leaders are required to integrate
into the economies of other countries so should academic leaders learn to cope
with grant challenges in the high student sending countries of China, Russia,
Japan, Iran, Germany and others.
As the age
demographics of America change toward an ever-increasing older population, many
of these citizens are volunteering to assist community institutions. Volunteers
will offset the financial retrenchment underway in many higher education
institutions. The progressive academic leader of the future must:
the role of and integrate volunteers into the academic institution.
unique motivational and reward systems to keep volunteers on the job and
Distance Education Leadership
is rapidly expanding beyond the physical boundaries of the university and
college. The challenges posed by technology assisted education are (a) balancing
the personal contact of classroom professors and the impersonal contact of
technology, (b) limitations, such as library access and student services, of not
being on-campus, and (c) the benefits of group learning over individual
learning. The academic leader in the time that is to come should possess the
following leadership skills with regard to distance education:
appreciation and understanding of the relationship between education,
technology, time, distance, location is essential. Moreover, the goals of
education must blend with the technology so as to be the medium rather than the
message. Distance education will be commonplace in the future. Just as the home
is fast becoming a workplace so might home learning become the central place of
interaction of communications technology and knowledge dissemination is a
rapidly advancing field. Academic executives must rapidly learn to control and
harness this process.
in today's society demands recognition of the diversity and difference present
in our culture. The effective academic leader of the future must negotiate the
multicultural environment by fully recognizing diversity and difference while
exercising leadership that unites all toward a common goal. This process of
future leadership must include the following:
reformation and change of education can only take place when academic leaders
are able to unite disparate and diverse individuals and groups. Envisioning the
possible contributions of all persons, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other
measure of difference and diversity, will be a significant challenge to future
means of communicating the accomplishments of diverse and different individuals
within our global society must be developed to portray the importance of
Leadership in American higher education needs to take new directions. Higher
education leaders, administrators, and faculty must be more progressive,
innovative, and creative to manage the reformation and change that is underway
and will occur in the future. This new leadership must take new directions in
ethics, collaboration, accountability, privatization, international and distance
education, volunteerism, and multiculturalism.
of Business Administration in Information Systems, 2001. University of
Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida. Master of Business Administration in Industrial
Management, 1995. Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Germán, PR.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, 1989. University of Puerto Rico,
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March 10, 2003