Their relationships are often characterized by skepticism, mistrust, or, in the worst cases, outright antagonism.
The divide between administrators and professors is legendary in higher education, where the model of shared governance seems to fuel tensions as often as it resolves them.
Does some of the problem boil down to simple misunderstandings, or a lack of understanding? Could training help?
That’s the idea behind an annual institute for rising faculty leaders started by Richard A. Detweiler, president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and president emeritus of Hartwick College. Over a weekend, more than two dozen professors from the 13 small private colleges that make up the association attend a workshop designed to educate them about how their institutions run and what it is like to lead them. Now in its ninth year, the Academic Leadership and Innovation Institute includes briefings about how various stakeholders, including students, donors, and trustees, view a college. The participants compare their colleges’ concerns. And they go through exercises designed to better their negotiation skills so they can help their colleagues back home find common ground, whether in departmental turf wars or institutionwide crises. <Read more.>