Some hallmarks of a leader in academia – Integrity, dedicated, compelling presence, empathy, critical thinking skills, creativity (think outside the box), patience, good listenig skills, magnanimity, dependable, credible, articulate, understanding of global integration in a diverse environment, gracious, and a sense of humor.
Leadership is not a secret code, it is an observable set of skills, (Kouzes, 2002), it is an attitude that permeates, influences the environment around us (Wikipedia). Leadership is to be able to influence, motivate and enable others to be their best and contribute toward the effectivenss and success of the organization.
Listen to the team, the faculty , the student body, their parents, and consider new alternatives. Current times are challenging businesses and higher education institutes to engage in unprecedented ways within the global communty. Today’s students will need to be intellectually resilient, cross-culturally comfortable, technologically savvy, and scientifically literate. Change is overtaking every aspect of society especially the media. Will tomorrow’s gradutes succesfully navigate these changing waters with global integration in the work place?
It is the teachers and faculty who can make grassroots change actually happen due to the fact that they come in direct contact with students. They will need to take the lead with knowledgeable scholars in developing innovative guidelines, curricula, and assignments so that American students are better equipped for an increasingly Flat World of the 21st century. It might be truly worthwhile investing in school teachers and adjunct college faculty with a much needed appreciation system of better scales and incentives. A system of strong faculty support, appreciation and reward will attract and retain bright teaching talent in our high schools who will prepare our students for the real world challenges. Adjunct faculty enrich the campuses with their expertise and real world knowledge.
In a demanding economic and international environment students need access to liberal arts studies balanced with skills in technology. “Of all the civil rights that the world has struggled and fought for 5000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental,” (W.E.B. Dubois). The education should be affordable to all.
Effective leaders can play a vital role in the strategic planning of academic policies in conjunction with student affairs to improve the quality of student learning. Do we have leaders with a black belt in 6 Sigma in education leadership?