ERIC Number: ED465343
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
An Investigation of Dean Leadership.
Gmelch, Walter H.; Wolverton, Mimi
This paper provides an overview of leadership by college deans, proposes a definition of academic leadership, and assesses the degree to which deans exhibit the behaviors embedded in academic leadership. Drawing on the literature, a definition of academic leadership was constructed. Academic leadership is the act of building a community of scholars to set direction and achieve common purposes through the empowerment of faculty and staff. This definition presupposes that there are three activities deans must perform to lead effectively: (1) building a community of scholars; (2) setting direction; and (3) empowering others. In 1997, the National Survey of Deans in Higher Education used the responses of a sample of deans (population of 1,370; response rate of 60%) to build a database of opinions, beliefs, and reported activities. Deans were asked to indicate behaviors that characterized their practice. Overall, deans were found to be balanced in their approaches to leadership, with deans in comprehensive universities more likely to describe themselves as community builders than deans in research universities. In addition, it appears that years in the position take a toll on deans. After about year 10, deans tend to disengage in direction setting behavior, a finding that may have implications for institutional development. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).Adapted from College Deans: Learning from Within, by Mimi Wolverton and Walter H. Gmelch, Oryx/Greenwood Press, June 2002. For a related document, see HE 034 990.