Academic Leadership and Institutional Challenges
In the current context, all industries and organizations, including higher education institutions have faced challenges beyond any predictable scenario. Higher education institutions have always been main providers of general and advanced knowledge and research in society. Their engagement in community development is rapidly changing, and the civic institutional mission is more and more visible. Academic leadership plays a crucial role in the path and design of institutional development. Leadership’s role in finding the most efficient strategies in teaching and learning, advanced research and society engagement is of high interest, but concrete solutions are still a work in progress.
There are a wide range of challenges which have put a lot of pressure academic leaders, such as lack of resources, lack of student engagement, changing priorities in the decision-making, growing bureaucracy and the added pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic. In some cases, leaders have to make quick operational decisions for short-run actions which make them behave more like managers and move them away from their real leadership role.
When uncertainty is the main contextual feature, changing educational mechanisms while complying with the same quality standards becomes a provocative approach by itself. Finding the right strategies is not an easy task for academic leadership. They have to find the right balance between current needs and not only future vision of higher education institution, but immediate actions. Academic strategies must be a way of shaping the institutional behavior starting with concrete decisions today. Learning from experiences and good practices is a great opportunity in finding answers to academic leadership dilemmas.
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
- Academic leadership role and specific challenges and decisions
- Planning, organization and adaptation in higher education
- Teaching and learning flexible strategies; opportunities and threats in academic research
- Academic leadership and societal engagement
- Higher education best practices in shaping future developments
- Increasing quality in education; current and future quality assurance strategies