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Reframing Academic Leadership 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0787988067
ISBN-10: 0787988065
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Editorial Reviews


"Reframing Academic Leadership is the most comprehensive book on the topic and an excellent source of knowledge for faculty and managerial leaders in every college and university. Bolman and Gallos effectively combine the principles and practices of effective leadership with many rich examples and stories of leadership in practice. An invaluable resource for students of higher education leadership!"
Maureen Sullivan, professor of practice, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and 2010 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Librarian of the Year

"Reframing Academic Leadership provides a compassionate understanding of the stresses of serving in a leadership capacity in higher education. It is an excellent book for those already serving as administrators in colleges and universities and for those who aspire to these positions. It offers insights to those who do not fully appreciate why higher education is so hard to ‘manage’ and validation for those entirely familiar with this world. I recommend it enthusiastically to both audiences as an excellent blend of theoretical ideas and practical applications."
Judith Block McLaughlin, senior lecturer on education, director of the Higher Education Program, and educational chair for the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"In Reframing Academic Leadership, Bolman and Gallos provide a refreshing view of leadership essential for those who are assuming presidencies and other important leadership positions in higher education as well as those who bring more conceptual and practical experiences. No sooner had I read their work when their notion of thinking outside the box and elevating the level of discussion through ‘reframing’ was most useful in resolving a board-related issue that I was facing in my first year as president of my institution. This work by Bolman and Gallos is a bedside reference for aspiring and current leaders in higher education not only in the U.S. but also abroad."
Fernando Leon Garcia, rector, Sistema CETYS Universidad, Baja California, Mexico

"Too often, higher education administrators understand neither the organizations they lead, nor the theories that provide them with knowledge they can apply to this complex task. Bolman and Gallos have written a practical, lucid text that brings together illustrative vignettes and robust frameworks for diagnosing and managing colleges and universities. I recommend this book to new and experienced higher education administrators who will routinely confront difficult people, structures, and cultures in their workplaces."
Christopher Morphew, professor and chair, Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, College of Education, University of Iowa

"Reframing Academic Leadership is a gem, filled with examples from days leaders really have. So much of what the authors espouse is musical: the book reads like an effective guide for leading a chamber music rehearsal, where one’s role constantly shifts from star to servant and where multiple answers may be 'right.' Very cool."
Peter Witte, dean, Conservatory of Music and Dance, University of Missouri-Kansas City

From the Author

Our approach in writing this book builds from multiple sources.  One is our experience both working in and teaching higher education leadership for more years than either of us likes to acknowledge.  One or both of us have served as a tenured senior faculty member, alumni affairs officer, principal investigator, academic program director, campus accreditation coordinator, department chair, dean, and special assistant to a university president.  We have studied, lived, and worked in elite private and urban public institutions. We have years of experience teaching higher education leadership to aspiring professionals in graduate courses and to experienced administrators in executive programs and summer institutes. We hope this book reflects all that we have learned from our students, colleagues, and experiences.
Throughout the book are cases and examples drawn from our own experiences and from the experience of the many thousands of academic leaders with whom we have worked over the years.  Except for a few clearly-labeled public examples, the cases are composites created, like good teaching cases, to illustrate dynamics regularly seen across institutions and situations. You're likely to encounter more than one example that sounds a lot like something that happened at your institution not so long ago. In higher education, it can truly be said, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787988065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787988067
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book takes the same four-frame schema as Boleman and Deal's well know Reframing Organizations, but specifically in the context of higher education. The first few chapters do seemed like a rehash of the other: structural, political, and so on ... but then the examples became infused with something that is very unique to academia. That is the rift that often develops between faculty and administration. "Faculty can see staff as unduly constrained and bureaucratic," they explain. "Staff often wonder why they have to track their hours and vacation days when faculty seem to come and go as they please."

Working within a discipline or - more often - sub-discipline is not very amenable to hierarchical control. The focus for faculty is within their specific areas - a "silo" mentality. It's not easy for faculty members to see or appreciate the complex institutional machinery required to assemble groups of inquisitive youth in rooms, on schedule, like clockwork, year after year, in a fluid and unstable environment. Meanwhile, academic administrators (unlike those running a factory or grocery store), cannot understand what actually happens at the other end of the hierarchy. They simply do not have the expertise. There's a built-in volatility which is difficult to control.

The popular Boleman/Deal book, now it its fourth edition and widely used as a text in management and leadership classes, only went so far as to compare universities to hospitals. That's an interesting thought - doctors there are the counterpart to faculty members here.

But they go much farther in this book. Faculty members' reference group, for example, may not include the administration or staff, colleagues in other departments, or even colleagues in their own area.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reframing Academic Leadership is chock full of good ideas about leading in an academic environment. The authors base the idea of reframing on the notion that the academic environment presents very particular leadership challenges. Power is dispersed through the the institution, and it is difficult for any single person to control anything. Faculty play a role in governance, and administrators find themselves caught in the middle of the often conflicting interests of faculty, students, and other administrators. Leaders are under pressure to initiate change and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. In this environment, leaders may fail in one (or both) of the following ways: they fail to notice cues in their environment that should act as guideposts, and try move things in the wrong direction; and they fail to carry their people with them. Reframing is a habit of strong academic leaders. It means looking at a situation from multiple perspectives, understanding it in new ways, and developing new strategies for moving ahead.

This is a challenge, say Bolman and Gallos, because while administrators new to an institution "step midstream into institutions that have evolved distinctive histories, cultures, and traditions," (p. 18) they tend to frame situations to fit familiar patterns. Under pressure to initiate change, "they are off and running before they're even sure what's most important and where they should really be heading" (p. 19). They may exhibit skilled incompetence, which is akin to expertly hitting everything with a hammer - not the solution to most problems.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this as part of my ACE Fellowship. Of the volumes of reading that was required, this book, by far was the best read of them all. It's incredibly logical, really speaks to the state of higher ed today and how to navigate it. Very well written and easy to read. I think I need to re-visit it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought the book was good overall. Not a stellar read that changed my perspective or anything but it was easy to get through and had some good points. I read this for my Master's degree and found it to be okay.
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This is a really good addition to the literature on academic leadership. There is excellent advice on keeping your eye on the big picture and what is really important in your work.
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