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ERIC Number: ED401970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Role of the Community College Chair in Organizational Change: Chaos, Leadership and the Challenge of Complexity.
Mellow, Gail O.
The hierarchical organizational structures that exist at community colleges and other institutions of higher education reflect the Late Industrial Era; as organizations make the transition to the Early Information Era, however, these rigid structures can hinder institutions' efforts to effectively utilize information and respond to changing conditions. What is needed is a system that merges the process of faculty decision-making with a bureaucratic system of student registration and admissions. One possible model of this structure is the learning organization, or a structure that allows for learning and change at the organizational level, enables stability in dynamic environments, generates abundant information, and processes information rapidly. In working toward this model, academic chairs must be able to inspire their faculty to change, imagine the whole system, understand the mental models upon which processes are built, and encourage dialogue. Another concept useful in considering structural change is "co-evolution", or the ability of two systems to interact and grow over time. Key to co-evolution is communication; academic administrators need to find ways to increase communication to achieve a rich dialogue and encourage systems to mutually evolve. In the 21st century, community college department chairs will need to respond to the information explosion and constantly changing organizations and technology and use this technology to serve and support 21st century learners and teachers. (AJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A