New book outlines successful academic leadership principles

July 12, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Robert Hendrickson, professor of education and senior scientist in Penn State’s College of Education, has co-authored a new book that offers guidance to higher education managers and leaders — from department chairs to trustees — on how to effectively discharge their responsibilities and how to develop their skills for managing their relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

“Academic Leadership and Governance of Higher Education” was written with Jason E. Lane, associate professor of educational administration and policy, and director of education studies at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, State University of New York at Albany; James T. Harris III, president of Widener University in Chester, Pa.; and Richard H. Dorman, president of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.

The book provides a broad understanding of the structure and functions of an institution and of the appropriate sources of decision-making. The authors go beyond the "positions" of leadership to emphasize the qualities of creativity, commitment, collaboration, delegation and courage that are essential to steer a unit, college or university through successful and enduring change.

“It is our hope that this volume will provide a useful guide and reference for many people who seek answers to complex questions concerning U.S. higher education,” the authors wrote in the acknowledgments.

“The book is intended for a wide audience of seasoned professionals in the field and laypeople alike. Regardless of the role one may have in relation to the administration and management of higher education, better decision-making begins with better understanding. We hope that we have provided that for you.”

“Academic Leadership and Governance of Higher Education” is informed by three essential principles:

-- Sound institutional decisions must be based on a clearly articulated mission and set of core values.

-- Successful institutional adaptation to a changed environment must be grounded and aligned with the fundamental mission and core values.

-- Successful academic leaders must be able to create and foster partnerships, bringing diverse individuals and interests together around a shared vision and mission ground in common values.

The book is divided into five units:

-- The first introduces the reader to the scholarly field of higher education and establishes the contextual framework for the rest of the book.

-- The second investigates the multifaceted and often complex relationships that exist between institutions of higher learning and their external constituencies.

-- The third focuses on how college and university presidents and their board of trustees keep an institutional mission focused while adapting to changes in the environment.

-- The fourth analyzes how college and university academic administrators fulfill their institution’s core mission through shared democratic partnerships.

-- The final unit concerns how effective academic leaders implement their institution’s academic mission.

The book was published by Stylus Publishing.

  • A head shot of Robert Hendrickson

    Robert Hendrickson

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015