The Undergraduate Experience
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ISBN: 978-1-119-05074-2

May 2016 | Jossey-Bass

Chapter 7 focuses on effective leadership at all levels of colleges and universities and how higher education leaders can create an institutional culture focused on what matters most in undergraduate education. Although the tenets of great leadership may be relatively simple, they are difficult to put into practice in the complexity of large organizations. The chapter provides ideas and strategies for cultivating effective leadership.

Action Principles

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  1. Lead through collaborative practices.
  2. Articulate clear, aspirational goals linked to institutional mission and values.
  3. Cultivate a culture that keeps students and learning at the center of decision making.
  4. Foster shared responsibility and leadership at all levels of the institution.
  5. Make strategic choices and take informed risks.
  6. Focus on dynamic, improvement-oriented planning, executing, and communicating.

Questions for Reflection

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  1. How does your institution cultivate leadership at all levels? Do you have programs for how to engage students, alumni, and others in leadership on campus?
  2. How can you enhance shared responsibility for leadership at your institution?
  3. What are some specific examples of ways that institutional values and priorities guide leadership and decision making in your context?
  4. When do you and other leaders on your campus take strategic risks? Who are the leaders on campus who are most likely to take risks? What have you and your colleagues learned from these experiences with risk taking?
  5. Does your program and campus have a strategic planning and resource allocation process in place that is linked to your campus vision of what matters most for student learning and success?
  6. How does your institution determine its highest priorities? How does learning factor into these priorities?