Developing the leadership capability of academic coordinators

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship Vol. 30

July, 2007, 651 pages
Published by
Geoffrey Crisp & Margaret Hicks
0 908557 72 8

Leadership roles in universities are constructed in different ways and given a variety of titles, but all universities have designated academic staff who undertake the academic coordination of significant courses or programs (e.g. honours coordinators; coordinators of large first year core courses and large academic programs) in a faculty. Typically these people have responsibility for the ‘practical and everyday process of supporting, managing, developing and inspiring academic colleagues’ (Ramsden 1998, p.4) and little if any formal power. Frequently they are also involved in teaching. Their direct and indirect impact on the learning outcomes of large numbers of students makes the role a critical one in all discipline areas. Academic development has traditionally focussed on aspects of teaching and learning rather than management and leadership. This paper describes a leadership framework based on research in the field of management (The Integrated Competing Values Framework or ICVF), relates it to the work of academic coordinators and describes how the framework is being applied, in a project funded by the Carrick Institute of Learning and Teaching, to provide insights into the development of academic leadership skills in higher education. Implications for practice, theory and policy that have emerged from the early stages of the research are described.

Keywords: academic leadership, quality in teaching and learning, academic coordinators

Developing the leadership capability of academic coordinators

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Vilkinas, T., Leask, B. & Rogers, T.