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Internal Leadership Training for Faculty and Academic Administrators Reaps Big Rewards

It is both expensive and time-consuming on many levels to launch a national search for every academic leadership position on campus.  Sometimes, of course, a national search is warranted for a Dean or for a Provost, but for other positions, such as department chairs, program directors, assistant and associate deans and associate/provosts, having a trained and ready “back bench” may be the best solution to maintain desired progress and efficiencies.  Admittedly, there are reasons to desire external candidates when changes and fresh perspectives are desired, but that is not always the case.  More often than not, leadership laments that there are no internal candidates ready to move up.

When colleges and universities want to retain their best, most creative, ambitious, and competent faculty and academic administrators, it is important for these people to sense a career path if they stay at the institution, and it is important to invest in their professional development so that they feel valued. With these two complementary goals in mind, the Touro College Academy of Leadership and Management (TCALM) was implemented five years ago in 2018.

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Practical Alternatives to Tenure: Lessons Learned for Best Practice

As chief academic officers, we are all familiar with the real and perceived concerns about traditional tenure-track faculty appointments. At many of our institutions, these concerns are enhanced by constraints in funding and tenure quotas that limit our ability to make tenure-track appointments. Statistics show the percentage of tenured and tenure-track appointments has declined across all sectors of higher education in recent years. In fact, the American Association of University Professors reports that the actual number of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty hired in 2016 exceeded the number of tenure-track faculty.

While not advocating for or against this practice, we recognize that provosts may need to make non-tenure-track (NTT) appointments to address enrollment trends and to recruit specialized faculty, particularly in new degree programs. Making such appointments may be critical to your success in ensuring the academic quality of your programs.

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Transition to the New Academic Normal

It is now over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first significantly affected the functions of higher education and the consequences of the impact cannot be under-estimated.  Many effects were budgetary, including negative enrollment growth, but probably most important to academic affairs in the long run was the changes implemented in the way we do our business as faculty and academic administration.  The pandemic resulted in rapid change, but as several authors have noted, primarily the pandemic was speeding up changes in education that were already in progress[1].  In 2020 we went from traditional “university speed” to Star Wars hyper-drive speed, but along the path we had already chosen.
 

The challenges we currently face getting back to a “normal” (thanks to vaccines and other immunity enhancers), are working with student impacts (including the challenges of new students whose instruction while in high school or community college was negatively impacted) and finding the technology mix that is appropriate.  We seem to be in a continuous transition state.  While in 2020, we were mainly responding without much time for reflection, we now need to perform assessments of the changes we made.  We need to assure that modifications that were improvements are not.  It is only through this assessment that our picture of the academy of the future will be realized.

Therefore, we will need to look at changes that were made in:

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Factors CAOs Consider to Remain in Their Positions

In June 2022, ACAO partnered with the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to study the longevity of Provosts in their positions. The resulting study led to a research paper.

Factors Chief Academic Officers Consider in Deciding Whether to Remain in Their Positions

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ACAO @ ACE Annual Conference

ACAO Provosts presenting at the ACE Annual Conference April 13-15, 2023 in Washington, DC. 

Many CAOs attend the ACE Annual Conference and ACAO will host a session during the meeting.  If you’re a CAO in attendance you won’t want to miss the CAO meetings ACAO has planned in addition to the sessions. 

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Lawyer Provosts Increasingly Appointed as Campus Presidents

By Patricia E. Salkin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the Graduate and Professional Divisions, Touro University

A little studied trend revealed in a new book, shows the exponential increase in the number of lawyers being appointed as college and university presidents.  Serving as a provost is often a pathway to the presidency for those interested, yet the data shows that most lawyer presidents did not previously serve as provosts or chief academic officers.  Although there is little published research about the backgrounds of provosts, it is fair to state that the typical provost does not possess a JD degree.  A 2010 Study of Chief Academic Officers of Independent Colleges and Universities published by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) indicated that among provosts (of chief academic officers) at four-year colleges and universities, at least 90% indicated that they held a terminal degree.  The study reported that 86% of chief academic officers at independent institutions had earned a PhD and 10% had earned an EdD. Of the remaining 4%, the survey reported the provosts possessed theology degrees, JDs (less than 1%) and MDs.

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A Communication Compact

 

            “…As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It’s not as wide as you may think.”  Campbell

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The Chief Academic Officer blog

Greetings!

ACAO is delighted to re-introduce our blog series. The goal of the series is to address the on-going challenges and opportunities that face our members in their Chief Academic Officer roles. The series will be penned by our members for our members, drawing on the wealth of experience that all of us have accumulated over our academic lives. We will also draw on the expertise of our Advisory Board, comprising CAO emeriti who support the work of ACAO.

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Welcome to The Chief Academic Officer blog by ACAO

Welcome to "The Chief Academic Officer" blog by ACAO

If you would like to post a blog, please send it to [email protected]

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