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ERIC Number: EJ889960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1469-7874
The Role of Programme Directors as Academic Leaders
Milburn, Peter C.
Active Learning in Higher Education, v11 n2 p87-95 Jul 2010
This exploratory study investigates the academic leadership roles and responsibilities performed by programme directors in higher education (also known as programme leaders or course leaders). It will be argued there has been a lack of recognition and research into the leadership role for programme directors, attention instead focusing on departmental heads and senior managers. The many challenges facing higher education are discussed, including the need for effective leadership. Failure to recognize, identify and develop the skills involved could be a costly omission for any institution. The study described in this article draws on a number of in-depth informal interviews with academic staff, each encouraged to reflect and "tell their story" regarding their role in providing academic leadership and to explore key themes and critical factors to achieving success and to consider if the perspective on academic leadership at programme director level can be identified. The study identifies themes which suggest that programme directors provide a unique and influential academic leadership role; one that has a significant impact on the quality of student learning and programme innovation. The findings also suggest a programme director's ability to lead is not derived from positional authority but in their ability to influence by transforming policy into practice. The concept of "influence" represents a recurring theme in both the literature and the findings of the study. The degree to which programme directors have influence is governed by the individual's personal attributes and the situation within which they operate. The organizational structure that best permits programme directors to develop their leadership potential is one based on shared or distributed leadership. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom