What I’m Reading: ‘Shared Leadership in Higher Education’

As a political scientist and academic administrator, I’ve long been interested in shared governance. But a new report on the value of shared leadership in higher education, prepared for the American Council on Education by Adrianna J. Kezar and Elizabeth M. Holcombe, has challenged my thinking. I see now how models of shared governance can focus more on distributing power than on collaborating meaningfully.

The authors differentiate shared leadership — the empowerment of multiple people and cross-functional teams — from the delegating of responsibilities to the faculty (versus administrative bodies) under shared governance.

As appealing as shared leadership is because of its emphasis on flexible, inclusive networks, the concept is less convincing when we make the leap from theory to implementation. How do we share leadership effectively when in reality people have different degrees of power? And how do we hold each other accountable, so that sharing leadership doesn’t devolve into inaction or chaos?

The report is a stark reminder to not let jargon, semantics, or the latest model get in the way. The issue is not about leadership versus governance, which as a political scientist I know isn’t a tenable choice.

It’s the shared part of both leadership and governance that matters. What are the purposes and principles we share, and how can we best collaborate around concrete issues? Figuring that out will always be difficult, but it also seems more authentically liberating and potentially a more effective way of fostering change.


Oxford, Cambridge Book Top Two Slots in Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018

File photo: A group of graduates gather outside the Sheldonian Theatre to have their photograph taken after a graduation ceremony at Oxford University. (REUTERS)
The Oxford and Cambridge University of the United Kingdom have picked the Top Slot of #1 and #2 together for first time ever in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018. While the University of Oxford maintained its unabated #1 ranking second year in a row, the University of Cambridge laurelled it way up to grab #2 position from #4 last year.

“We are very proud to claim the top spot in the @timeshighered World University Rankings for the second year running: http://po.st/aBxqGX”

The California Institute of Technology, US dropped from #2 to #3 while the Stanford University maintained its positioned at #3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University and Imperial College London strengthened their positions with #5, #6, #7 and #8 respectively as last year; while University of Chicago pulled down Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in an exchange of positions for #9 and #10.

Speaking about the latest survey, Professor Alan Smithers – Director of Centre for Education and Employment Research, University of Buckingham stated ‘The fears that Brexit would damage our leading universities appear to be just scaremongering.’

The current and first female Vice Chancellor of the Oxford University – Louise Richardson was under fire recently for the ‘university fat cat’ row that has brought the Pay packages of University Chief under public scrutiny. As per the ongoing debate, there are educational heads who draw coffers more than even the Prime Minister of the UK. The VC justified her £350,000 pay package and remarked the politicians propagating against VCs as ‘mendacious’ and ‘tawdry’ and their comments damaging to the education sector of the United Kingdom.

However, Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 bring a proud moment for the country where Educational scenario is facing a lot of political pressure and with both the Universities holding the Number One and Number Two slot first time in the 13-year history of Times Higher Education World University Rankings brings a sigh of relief to some.

Talking about India, the Top-ranked Indian Institute of Science (IISc) dropped from 201-250 club to 251-300 club while IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur fell from 401- 500 band to 501-600 band. IIT Bombay maintained its position in 351-400 slot and IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee stayed fixed in 501-600 window.

Commenting on India rankings, Editorial Director of the Times Higher Education (THE) Global Rankings Phil Baty stated “It is disappointing that India has declined in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings amid increasing global competition,” “As leading universities in other Asian territories such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently rising up the rankings, in part thanks to high and sustained levels of funding, India’s flagship Indian Institute of Science moves further away from the elite top 200.”


Dollarlogic: A Six-Day Plan to Achieving Higher Investment Returns by Conquering Risk

“Dollarlogic” is a book that will change how you think about the relationship between risk and reward. Author Andy Martin’s goal is to teach readers how to measure risk based on probable outcomes instead of how it is normally measured; by infrequent negative events.”

Readers will learn how to look at their investments from a whole new perspective that just might make them more money than they thought possible.

The book is written in three parts; Think, Plan and Execute. Throughout the book Martin turns traditional investment thought upside down.


The Changing Landscape Of Higher Education For Students

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There has been a significant growth in income for people with a bachelor’s degree or more with a full-time work opportunity as opposed to their mates who have education only until high school. This survey has led to an even greater growth for people willing to opt for higher education. Higher education not only helps you associate with better jobs but also increased their chances pension and insurance benefits, along with various advantages from their employers.  On a much more generalized note, higher education paves the way for healthier lifestyles. It is safe to say that an increase in the educational qualification can help you climb the socio-economic ladder faster.

More enrollment and higher debt

With the better valuation of college degrees amongst people, there has been a substantial growth in people enrolling for college degrees. This development is providing students with better opportunities for people with all sorts of background. This growth in college enrollment sees a direct rise in the total number of students applying for educational loans. The total amount due on the loan depends on the course that your choose, and the rate of interest that the college or bank authorities provide. You can go into an agreement with the loan providers and start paying off the loans once you get over with your degree.

Hope for change

Future changes in school expenses are unrealistic to decrease the debt trouble. Late patterns have been intensified at numerous open organizations of advanced education as they face decreases in state appointments, a verifiably solid piece of open advanced education financing. In all the states including those that are presently making modest increments in their advanced education expenditure plans, advanced education subsidizing stays well underneath pre-subsidized levels. The attempt to do this is to make higher education more available to people in general.

Affordability of student loan

Student loans can be made affordable for most of the borrowers if they opt for high returns. Some borrowers might struggle to pay off their debt in the initial stages due to the comparatively low income that they incur while starting off their careers. The usual trend and feasibility of payment occur during the first year itself.  The borrowers who default on their loans can face severe outcomes which include a damaged credit rating. Credit scores determine your ability of future developments like buying a house and opening a bank account. Debt consolidation is an option that can help you tackle all your loans together. Taking help from authorized personnel is the best way to consolidate credit card debt as well as student debt. Check out more about the topic online and also check out for credit card refinancing which can be of great help for you as well.

Defaulting and other problems

Problems on defaulting are not the only issue that you can face in a student debt. Going into default can bring along with itself various challenges. The increased monthly payments of student loans may make it a problem for the students to pay off other financial debts incurred.  This might lead them to a financial hardship. Students with more loan debt have an increased chance of defaulting. Also, enrolling into a student loan and not being able to pay it off might deter you from entering yourself into any further educational programs due to the risks more debt brings along itself.