ERIC Number: ED320477
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Critical Faculty: Academic Leadership and the Quandary of Stability and Stress.
The study describes a college which has achieved financial comfort and stability. The focus is on how campus members learn about the institution's financial condition and their attitudes toward the institution's resource strategies. Special attention is given to the views of persons outside the top administrative circle. The college, which has been given the pseudonym of Continental College in this report, was one of eight institutions participating in a study of organizational and leadership dynamics and experiencing various degrees of resource stress. Interviews with up to 15 administrators, faculty, and trustees were conducted on each campus to elicit personal views of leadership and campus life. In regard to Continental College conflicting views emerged, with some interviewees reporting that the college is very organized, efficient, and task-centered while others felt that the task orientation is distancing and depersonalizing. Faculty appeared more attuned to contradictions than did administrators. Views are presented in terms of the following: stability as appearance and reality, "organization" as resource strategy, learning in bureaucracy (e.g., nature of information flows, different learning roles), experience as the "flip side" of structure, and evaluation. The case of Continental College raises three concerns: (1) that financial stability is not necessarily associated with faculty vitality; (2) that the organizational images of control and stability may shield stressful and disordered internal realities; and (3) that concerns about learning are separated all too frequently from concerns about leadership. Contains 34 references. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 16-20, 1990).