Charles Sturt University August 2019 Leadership in a time of transition Results of an OLT study of 500 experienced L&T leaders in Australian universities Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott Western Sydney University Aims Identify some common QA hot spots in L&T around the world Clarify the role of local L&T leaders and their expectations Identify the key challenges in the role Identify the key indicators for effective role delivery
Identify the capabilities that count most in the role Determine what sorts of assistance will be most helpful (see the report: Learning Leaders in Times of Change, OLT, Sydney) Some common QA hot spots in L&T around the world Assuring the quality of assessment & academic integrity Need to develop work ready plus graduates Working productively with third party providers Ensuring the successful transition, retention and success of students from diverse backgrounds Figuring out how best to balance mission with market, growth with quality, access with excellence Ensuring consistent quality in multi-campus delivery
Some common QA hot spots in L&T around the world Figuring out how best to use TEL as part of a broader blended learning strategy and to support WIL Failure to understand that learning is a profoundly social experience Closing the loop promptly, consistently and effectively on agreed areas for improvement being able to answer the question how do you know? Demonstrating effective corporate and academic governance (81% of current adverse findings from TEQSA) Effective change leadership and implementation Working productively with third party providers
Ensure assessment equivalence, quality and integrity Use assessment focused learning guides Use guides written by successful students from the same background for new students Use guides written by successful sessional staff for new staff Train the Academic Board and its subcommittees, using key findings from TEQSA reviews of these bodies & surveys by CABF Working productively with third party providers Use a robust Tracking and Improvement System for L&T and ensure any agreed areas for improvement are addressed promptly and wisely Participate in bodies like HEPPQN and use its networks
to benchmark for improvement Give focus to agent quality and pre-emptive briefing of students Use low risk capability assessment tasks for English and Maths early on and use the results for targeted support The world of the local L&T leader What are the key challenges you face in your leadership role Comparison with Learning Leaders analogies, challenges, HOS position descriptions at UWS Analogies 500 experienced HE L&T leaders: My job is like: Most common Herding cats, turtles
Juggling Head of Program & School/Department Meat in the sandwich Swimming in a tidal pool Having a Ferrari with no fuel Surfer in a rough sea Working with a dysfunctional family Trying to complete Rubiks cube when the colours keep changing Plumber Working in a bar Sole parent Flying a plane with limited ground support and no co-pilot Being a kelpie in charge of a flock
Trek leader with people all wanting to do different things Advancing through bureaucratic mud Trying to nail jelly to the roof whilst putting out spot fires with my feet Sailor constantly trimming the sails Cooking a souffle Being on a rollercoaster Senior leader Gardener Conductor Captain of an ocean liner Keeping a flotilla going in one direction Trying to turn around an iron ore carrier
Iceberg 91 Heads of Program Most challenging situation in the last year Staff performance, conflict, morale & cultural issues Ongoing curriculum and structural change Administration and bureaucracy Unaligned or contradictory rules, priorities, systems or support processes Student matters Balancing a range of demands and priorities Decreased budget and staff resources Need for recognition and support
Strategies used to resolve common local challenges Make sure expectations are clear up front use assessment-focused learning guides Use guides written by the highest rating sessional staff for new staff teaching in the same area Include best aspect and needs improvement comments from the students who last took the unit of study as part of this guide Listen first especially to resisters; individually before a meeting Be as evidence-based as possible consensus around the data not around the table Confirm by email Strategies used to resolve common
local challenges Develop and use a reciprocal network Team-based action ready, fire, aim (Bacon) Clear expectations upfront & confirmed Address culture model; rewards; why dont we Understand motives to engage line & senior Peer group counts Meet less but meet better Indicators of effective performance as a local L&T leader What indicators/evidence would you use to conclude you are doing a good job in your leadership role. What indicators would a Dean or your colleagues use?
Comparison with the ALTC/OLT results Key indicators used to judge leadership effectiveness HoP (HoS rank in brackets) (Top 12 in rank order out of 32 items)
Achieving high quality graduate outcomes 1 (2) Receiving positive user feedback 2 (12) Significant improvements in L & T quality 3 (7) Successful implementation of new initiatives 4 (3) Bringing innovative policies & practices into action 5 (13) Improving student satisfaction ratings for L & T 6 (9) Establishing a collegial working environment 7 (1) Delivering tasks on time and to specification 8 (10)
Producing successful learning systems 9 (18) or infrastructures Positive outcomes from external reviews 10 (8) The Capabilities that count Think of the best (or worst) HE leader you have encountered what was it about this person that led you to select him/her? Comparison with the ALTC/OLT HOS
results on the capabilities that count Leadership capability framework Helen please insert the five circles Personal Capabilities Interpersonal Capabilities Role-specific Competencies Cognitive Capabilities
Cognitive capabilities Diagnosis Strategy Flexibility & responsiveness The capabilities that count for HoP & HoS Top 12/67 in rank order Understands personal strengths/ limitations (1, 5) - P Able to organise work & manage time (2, 9) - SK Remaining calm under pressure (3, 2) - P Energy, passion & enthusiasm for learning and teaching (4, 20) -P
Being transparent & honest in dealings with others (5, 1) - IP Empathising & working productively with staff from a wide range of backgrounds (6, 3) - IP (HOP rank, HOS rank) Admitting to & learning from my errors (7, 7) - P Being true to one's personal values and ethics (8, 6) - P Making sense of and learning from experience (9, 15) - C Thinking creatively and laterally (10, 18) - C
Being willing to take a hard decision (11, 4) - P Maintaining a good work/life balance (12, 33) P P personal; IP interpersonal C cognitive ; SK skills/knowledge Top ranking capabilities x subdomain Personal capabilities 7/12 Interpersonal capabilities 2/12 Cognitive capabilities 2/12 Skills & Knowledge 1/12 Effective change leadership: summary
Listen (with a case for change, menu of options) Link (what most see as a relevant, feasible way to go) Leverage (use those further down the path to try out an agreed solution) Lead (scale up what works) Always in that order Top ranking forms of support for leaders in the OLT study (in rank order) Learning on the job Reflection against a framework
Ad hoc conversations with those in the same role Informal mentoring & coaching Peer networks within the university Completing a leadership qualification Study of real-life problems Where to next? What is one key insight you have gained from this discussion? In the light of this insight what is one thing you will now do on Monday? References Barber, M., Donnelly, K., & Rizvi, S. (2013). An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead. London, England: Institute for Public
Policy Research Fullan, M & Scott, G (2009): Turnaround leadership for higher education, Jossey Bass, San Francisco Scott, G (2017): Making it happen in the FLIPCurric site at: http:// flipcurric.edu.au/make-it-happen, Office of L&T, Canberra. Scott, G (2019): Preparing work ready plus graduates for an uncertain future. In Higgs, J et al: Education for employability , Brill, Leiden & Boston. Scott, G., Coates, H. & Anderson, M. (2008). Learning Leaders in Times of Change. Australian Learning and Teaching Council, Sydney. Scott, G, Tilbury, D, Sharp, L & Deane, E (2012) 'Turnaround Leadership for Sustainability in Higher Education' Australian Office for Learning and Teaching, Canberra.
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