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A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools


Richard Holloway Libri


FIRST EDITION SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Winner of the 2018 Sue DeWine Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, National Communication Association, Applied Communication Division REVIEWS OF THE FIRST EDITION “The book provides frameworks and resources that would be highly relevant for new and aspiring department chairs. In fact, this text is ideally designed to serve as a selection for a book discussion group.”—The Department Chair “Succeeds in providing accessible and useful resources to individuals across different leadership roles… As a midpoint between textbook and reference work, it is successful at both and provides a clear and unbiased background to issues facing current leaders.”—Reflective Teaching During a time of unprecedented challenges facing higher education, the need for effective leadership – for informal and formal leaders across the organization – has never been more imperative. Since publication of the first edition, the environment for higher education has become more critical and complex. Whether facing falling enrollments, questions of economic sustainability, the changing composition of the faculty and student bodies, differential retention and graduation rates, declining public confidence in the enterprise, or the rise in the use of virtual technologies – not to mention how COVID-19 and an intensified focus on long standing issues of racial and gender representation and equity have impacted institutions and challenged many long-standing assumptions – it is clear that learning on the job no longer suffices. Leadership development in higher education has become essential for advancing institutional effectiveness, which is the focus of this book. Taking into account the imperative issues of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and the context of institutional mission and culture, this book centers on developing capacities for designing and implementing plans, strategies, and structures; connecting and engaging with colleagues and students; and communicating and collaborating with external constituencies in order to shape decisions and policies. It highlights the need to think broadly about the purposes of higher education and the dynamics of organizational excellence, and to apply these insights effectively in goal setting, planning and change leadership, outcomes assessment, addressing crises, and continuous improvement at both the level of the individual and organization. The concepts and tools in this book are equally valuable for faculty and staff leaders, whether in formal leadership roles, such as deans, chairs, or directors of institutes, committees, or task forces, or those who perform informal leadership functions within their departments, disciplines, or institutions. It can be used as a professional guide, a textbook in graduate courses, or as a resource in leadership training and development programs. Each chapter concludes with a series of case studies and guiding questions.
 
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