'Paying for the Party'
Monday, April 1, 2013
'Paying for the Party'
Research featured in new book suggests that, in effort to lure full-pay students, universities have shifted their institutional priorities to the benefit of the affluent and the detriment of everyone else.
Study suggests that there's a way for top colleges to attract and enroll more low-income, high-achieving applicants, and that the methods to do so are inexpensive. So why isn't this strategy being used?
Sources of Power in Education
Power may be regarded as the ability to determine the behavior of others or to decide the outcomes of conflict. Where there is disagreement, it is likely to be resolved according to the relative resources of power available to the participants.
There are many sources of power, but in broad terms a distinction can be made between authority and influence. Authority is legitimate power which is vested in leaders within formal organizations. Authority involves a legal right to make decisions which may be supported by sanctions. ?Authorities are defined essentially as the people who are entitled to make binding decisions? (Bolman and Deal, 1991: 193). School heads and principals typically have substantial authority by virtue of their formal leadership positions.
Influence represents an ability to affect outcomes and depends on personal characteristics and expertise. Bacharach and Lawler (1980: 44) identify seven distinctions between authority and influence:
? Authority is the static, structural aspect of power in organizations; influence is the dynamic, tactical element.
? Authority is the formal aspect of power; influence is the informal aspect.
? Authority refers to the formally sanctioned right to make final decisions; influence is not sanctioned by the organization and is,
therefore, not a matter of organizational rights.
? Authority implies involuntary submission by subordinates; influence implies voluntary submission and does not necessarily entail a
? Authority flows downward, and it is unidirectional; influence is multidirectional and can flow upward, downward, or horizontally.
? The source of authority is solely structural; the source of influence may be personal characteristics, expertise, or opportunity.
? Authority is circumscribed, that is, the domain, scope, and legitimacy of the power are specifically and clearly delimited; influence is
uncircumscribed, that is, its domain, scope, and legitimacy are typically ambiguous.
As we noted in Chapter 1, formal authority is often associated with management while influence is the key dimension of leadership. Heads and principals possess positional authority and have the formal power to impose their views. Leadership may arise in any part of the organization and relies on personal qualities and attributes.
Hoyle (1982) points to the ways in which these two aspects of power operate within educational institutions:
Influence differs from authority in having a number of sources in the organization, in being embedded in the actual relationship between groups rather than located in an abstract legal source, and is not fixed but is variable and operates through bargaining, manipulation, exchange and so forth. The head teacher in Britain has a high degree of authority; but [the] exercise of that authority is increasingly modified as teachers? sources of influence?increase and thus involves the head in a greater degree of exchange and bargaining behavior. (Ibid.:90)
There are six significant forms of power relevant to schools and colleges:
? Positional power. A major source of power in any organization is that accruing to individuals who have an official position in the institution. Formal positions confer authority on their holders, who have a recognized right to make decisions or to play a key role in the policy-making process. Handy (1993:128) says that positional power is ?legal? or ?legitimate? power. In schools, the head is regarded as the legitimate leader and possesses legal authority which is inevitably a key determinant of school policy. Other staff who are in senior posts may also exercise positional power. These may include deputy or associate principles, heads of department and pastoral leaders. Chairs of governing bodies or school boards may also exert positional power within self-managing schools and colleges. Cameron (2010) also points to the power exercised by external partners, for example the Secondary National Strategy (SNS) consultant in London: ?The SNS consultant has reinforced the influe
nce or power that secondary school hierarchies have over teachers and departments (ibid.:356). In a hierarchy, the more highly placed individuals exert greater authority:
The first and most obvious source of power in an organization is formal authority, a form of legitimized power that is respected and acknowledged by those with whom one interacts?legitimacy is a form of social approval that is essential for stabilizing power relations. It arises when people recognize that a person has a right to rule some area of human life and that it is their duty to obey. (Morgan, 1997:172)
? Authority of expertise. In professional organizations there is significant reservoir of power available to those who possess appropriate expertise. Handy (1993: 130) says that ?expert power is the power that is vested in someone because of their acknowledged expertise?In a meritocratic tradition people do not resent being influenced by those whom they regard as the experts?. Schools and colleges employ many staff who have specialist knowledge of aspects of the curriculum. The music specialist, for example, is regarded as the expert in their field, and principals may be cautious in substituting their own judgments for those of their heads of department in curricular matters. In certain circumstances, there may be a conflict between formal leaders and experts but the outcome is by no means certain:
Expert power relates to the use of knowledge and expertise as a means of legitimizing what one wishes to do. ?The expert? often carries an aura of authority and power that can add considerable weight to a decision that rests in the balance. (Morgan, 1997: 181)
? Personal power. Individuals who are charismatic or possess verbal skills or certain other characteristics may be able to exercise personal power. Staff who are able to influence behavior or decisions by virtue of personal abilities or qualities are often thought to possess the attributes of charismatic leadership. These personal skills are independent of the power accruing to individuals by virtue of their position in the organization. In school staff rooms, for example, there are often individuals who command the respect of colleagues because of their perceived wisdom or insight. These teachers may become alternative leaders whose views are sought on the key issues. ?Individuals with charisma, political skills, verbal facility, or the capacity to articulate vision are powerful by virtue of their personal characteristics, in addition to whatever other power they may have? (Bolman and Deal, 1991: 19).
? Control of rewards. Power is likely to be possessed to a significant degree by individuals who have control of rewards. They are inevitably perceived as powerful by those who value such returns. In education, rewards may include promotion, good references and allocation to favored classes or groups. Individuals who control or influence the allocation of these benefits may be able to determine the behavior of teachers who seek one or more rewards. Typically, the head or principal is the major arbiter of promotion and references, although advice may be sought from heads of departments or others who possess relevant knowledge or information. Classes may be allocated by heads of department. This form of power represents a means of control over aspiring teachers but may have little influence on those staff who choose to spurn these rewards. Control of rewards may be regarded as authority rather than influence where it emanates from the leader acting in an official capacity.
? Coercive power. The mirror image of the control of rewards may be coercive power. This implies the ability to enforce compliance with a request or requirement. Coercion is backed by the threat of sanctions. ?Coercive power rests on the ability to constrain, to block, to interfere, or to punish? (Bolman and Deal, 1991: 196).
? Heads and principals may exercise coercive power by threatening not to supply a good reference for external applications or warning about the prospects for internal promotion. In certain circumstances, coercion may be used in conjunction with the control of rewards to manipulate the behavior of others. This ?carrot and stick? combination may have a powerful double effect on staff and may be a latent factor in all schools and colleges. Wallace and Hall (1994: 33) question the legitimacy of such manipulative actions: ?We suggest that action?is manipulative either where it is a conscious attempt, covertly, to influence events through means or ends which are not made explicit; or where it is illegitimate, whether overt or not.?
? Control of resources. Control of the distributions of resources may be an important source of power in educational institutions, particularly in self-managing school and colleges. Decisions about the allocation of resources are likely to be among the most significant aspects of policy process in such organizations. Resources include revenue and capital finance, but also human and material resources such as staff and equipment. Control of these resources may give power over those people who wish to acquire them. There is often competition between interest groups for additional resources and success or failure in acquiring extra finance, staff and other resources is an indicator of the relative power of individuals and groups:
Resource management is?a micropolitical process, providing an arena within which participants compete for the resources which will enable them to develop programs of activity which embody their values, further their interests and help to provide legitimation for the activities in which they are engaged. (Simkins, 1998: 110)
While these six forms of power might be regarded as the most significant, Bolman and Deal (1991), Handy (1993) and Morgan (1997) identify several other sources, including:
? physical power
? developing alliances and networks
? access to and control of agendas
? control of meanings and symbols
? control of boundaries
? gender and the management of gender relations.
Consideration of all these sources of power leads to the conclusion that heads and principals possess substantial resources of authority and influence. They have the capacity to determine many institutional decisions and to affect the behavior of their colleagues. However, they do not have absolute power. Other leaders and staff also have power, arising principally from their personal qualities and expertise, although, Young and Brooks (2004) show that part-time teachers, for example, are often marginalized. Lay governors may also be powerful, particularly if they chair the governing board or one of its important committees. These other sources of power may act as a counterbalance to the head?s positional authority and control of rewards.
Bolman, L. and Deal, T. (1991) Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Cameron, D. (2010) ?Working with secondary school leaders in a large-scale reform in London: consultants? perspective of their role as agents of school change and improvement?, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 38(3): 341-59
Handy, C. (1993) Understanding Organizations, London: Penguin.
Hoyle, E. (1982) ?Micropolitics of educational organizations?, Educational Management and Administration, 10(2): 87-98.
Morgan, G. (1997) Images of Organization, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Wallace, M. and Hall, V. (1994) Inside the SMT. Teamwork in Secondary School Management, London: Paul Chapman Publishing.
Young, B. and Brooks, M. (2004) ?Part-time politics: the micropolitical world of part-time teaching?, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 32(2): 129-48.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS IS NOW OPEN.....
Please consider submitting your scholarly work on enhancing student learning.
The Annual Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching - TC will be held in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan at the Park Place Hotel, September 19 – 22.
Proposal submission will close June 1, 2013.
For over 30 years, Lilly Conferences have been offering an opportunity for individuals from a variety of disciplines to gather and discuss important issues related to teaching and student learning. Attendees share ideas, debate issues, and form lasting friendships.
Past Lilly participants from Europe, South America, and across North America have raved that the conference has “high quality presentations,” “many opportunities to network,” and “a strong community spirit.” Upon leaving the conference, attendees report that they gained a plethora of teaching ideas that can be immediately implemented.
Please submit your proposal and share your professional work as a concurrent session, poster session, or round table discussion. Proposals are blind reviewed by college and university faculty. Selected presentations may also be submitted for publication in the conference proceedings.
The Conference Theme this year is Evidenced-Based Teaching and Learning. Conference tracks include: Academic Success; Assessment of Student Learning; Creating a Community of Learners; Course/Curriculum Design/Redesign; Engaging and Motivating Students; Innovative Pedagogical Approaches; Multiculturalism/Diversity/Inclusion; Online Learning and Teaching; Sustainability; Service/Experiential Learning; and Teaching Well with Classroom Technologies.
The deadline for proposal submissions is June 1, 2013.
For more information about the Lilly - TC Conference please see:
We hope you'll join us and experience firsthand why "Lilly Conferences" are remarkable opportunities to network and share information with colleagues who are passionate about good teaching and student learning.
Todd Zakrajsek, Conference Director
Deb Van Etten, Conference Coordinator
Todd Zakrajsek, Ph.D., Director
Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching - Bethesda
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tomorrows-professor Digest, Vol 71, Issue 8 - The Chair's Role in Facilitating a Collegial Department
The Chair’s Role in Facilitating a Collegial Department
Mary Lou Higgerson (1996) has written about strategies to be employed by department chairs to develop collegial relationships in a department. In addition, I have found the following twenty leadership traits that chairs can use to help facilitate a more collegial department:
? Emphasize consensus. Chairs should work tirelessly to gain buy-in from members of their department. This enhances a sense of empowerment as well as the fact that encouraging more ideas and suggestions?delivered in a respectful and civil manner?is a basic tent of institutions of higher education.
? Share power. Chairs should not be power-hungry and driven by their egos. They should reach out to the faculty members and obtain their thoughts and ideas. Faculty members should recognize that the chair makes decisions predicated on the needs of the department, not personal gain.
? Consult with all faculty members. Chairs should not be perceived as listening only to one or two faculty members. When people are listened to, and their ideas are allowed to be articulated, they are empowered.
? Develop and implement shared responsibilities. Chairs should be aware that all faculty members must share the workload. Resist giving most of the work to a small minority of the faculty?even if they are not tenured! There should be equity in committee assignments, number of advisees, and so on.
? De-emphasize status differences. Chairs should help to ensure that senior-ranking professors and first-year faculty members are accorded the same respect. Institutions of higher education are infamous for heightening status differences. Quality departments must refrain from this position.
? Individuals should interact as equals. Chairs must set the tone and be certain that all people in the department are treated as equals. The chair must model the behavior she expects from faculty members, students, and professional staff.
? Engage in generational and gender equity. Chairs should ensure that more seasoned faculty and women and minorities are respected and listened to. The composition of faculty is changing and chairs need to recognize this.
? Celebrate. Chairs should celebrate, publicly and privately, the achievements of each faculty member: awarding of tenure, promotion in rank, writing a grant, writing an article for publication, obtaining a grant or contract, awarded the ?best? researcher or teacher or advisor honor, and so on.
? Maintain frequent and consistent interaction with colleagues. Hold weekly, regularly scheduled staff meetings. The chairs who interact with their staff mainly through e-mails are doing themselves and the department a disservice.
? Establish a climate of tolerating differences. Higher education is rather infamously noted for harboring people who display idiosyncratic behavior. Department climate should encourage a dissimilarity and variation in ideas and thoughts by faculty members.
? Focus on the behavior not the person. In the discussions that become heated, as well as normal exchanges between and among faculty members and the chair, it is the behavior that should be carefully scrutinized rather than the person.
? Be constructive and informative. The chair is in a position to be more informed than faculty members regarding important changes underway at the college or university. The chair should present as much of this information as logic would dictate so that faculty members are spared the insidious rumors that often accompany impending changes. The chair should communicate what he knows to the faculty in a positive, practical, and useful way.
? Link individuals to the larger context. If a person makes an ill-advised uncivil comment one time, it should not be blown out of proportion as representing a declaration that this is her usual behavior. We all have bad days. However, if this becomes a noticeable occurrence it must be dealt with, and swiftly.
? Do not be defensive: ?I?m not being defensive, damn it!? It is human nature that when one starts a sentence with the phrase ?Don?t be defensive, but ?? the immediate response is to declare that you are not! Try not to start off a conversation with this expression.
? Publicly and formally recognize each deserving person. A faculty member should be recognized when he or she performs in an outstanding way. The chair should take the lead in making sure that the person?s achievement does not go unrecognized or unnoticed. The chair can organize a breakfast or lunch to honor this person?s success. He can make an announcement at a department or schoolwide meeting. The important thing is to recognize this person and her achievement in a public forum.
? Clarify performance expectations. The chair should meet individually with each faculty member at the start of each semester and discuss performance expectations. The expectations will be somewhat different and unique for each faculty member, based on where each faculty member is in his or her career. Of course, a tenured full professor will have a different set of goals and expectations than a nontenured assistant professor. This will enable chairs to get to know their faculty members, obtain information on their dreams and aspirations, and mentor the faculty members in specific ways.
? Be consistent. Chairs should behave in a consistent manner so that faculty members, students, and professional staff are secure in their interaction with the chair. This behavior can serve as a reliability check to ensure that the chair is not behaving sporadically from day to day. Each person in the department should be noticeably comfortable in daily relations with the chair.
? Keep accurate, specific, and up-to-date records. The chair should keep records of communications he has, especially those that are contentious. He should record the time and day of the conversation and the outcome. The records should be kept in a secure place and labeled properly for easy reference.
? Do not show favoritism. Even the perception that the chair is favoring one faculty person over another sets in motion needless conflict. Faculty members have elephantine memories! Chairs should be ever-vigilant in not making the ?favoritism game? into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have always shared the decisions that I have made with all of the members in the department. For example, Jim was supported in attending a national conference, while Ellen?s request was denied. The reason that I shared was that Jim was presenting a keynote address at the conference. Also, Ellen was requesting to go to the conference and only attend the sessions. Jim?s keynote presentation brought acclaim to the department and the university. Morning classes usually being at 8:00 AM. Faculty members do not want to teach the eight o?clock class. The decision I made was to rotate the faculty so that we all (myself included) taught the 8:00 AM class every fifth semester.
? Resist the temptation to get even and punish a faculty member (even if he is a mean-spirited son-of-a-sea cook). Chairs must personally defend against placing a faculty member in a dark, windowless, asbestos-filled office in the basement of the maintenance building. Although this may provide the chair with a warm and fuzzy feeling, she should refrain from actually doing this or similar acts (it is okay, however, to think it). Punishing this person makes the chair seem petty and vindictive in the eyes of other faculty members, students, and staff. Also, it only serves to set this person up as a victim. Faculty members do have an innate tendency to relate to victims, which could serve to ostracize the chair and significantly diminish her effectiveness as a leader.
Higgerson, M. L. Communication Skills for Department Chairs. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing, 1996.
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Hear from the experts on U.S. accreditation and quality assurance internationally at the CHEA 2013 Summer Workshop!
Workshop sessions will address vital issues including:
We are pleased that Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will be joining us. More program information is coming soon.
Don't miss the chance to take part in the conversation on accreditation and its future. Make your plans now to be with us in Washington. Click here to register!
A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA's Website at www.chea.org.
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Posted: 28 Mar 2013 03:01 PM PDT
Do you spend all of your time teaching?
For all professors, teaching is an important part of our job. However, for most professors, it is not the only important part of what we do. Most of us have other obligations and we risk putting those in jeopardy when we spend all of our time preparing for class and grading.
In a recent post, I explained that I spend about six hours a week preparing for each class I teach. As a caveat, I will say that number is a guesstimate, and the number of hours varies depending on the class.
When I teach a graduate-level seminar, I usually have to spend about four hours reading the book I assigned, another two hours taking notes on it, and another hour writing out discussion questions and reading students’ responses. In graduate seminars, I usually spend about five to ten minutes at the beginning of the class laying out the importance of the book to the field and then we spend the rest of the class engaging in discussion. Typically, I ask one student to lead class discussion each week.
When I teach an undergraduate class, the weekly readings usually only take me two hours or less, and I spend more time on grading and preparing PowerPoint slides. For undergraduate classes, I usually spend about 15 minutes of an hour-long class lecturing, and use the rest of the time for discussion and in-class activities.
I have been teaching university for about a decade, and usually teach classes on race, immigration, and sociological writing.
Here are a seven tips to avoid spending all of your time teaching.
Tip #1: Try to minimize new course preps.
Your ability to do this will vary by institution, but many administrators will find your suggestion that you teach no more than one new prep a year reasonable. Personally, I find one new course prep a year just enough to keep things interesting.
Tip #2: Teach classes as closely related to your research as possible.
If your research is on race, offer to teach a graduate seminar on race. When choosing the books, choose those texts you are grappling with in your own work. A graduate seminar should have the classics, of course, but students also need to be familiar with cutting-edge work in your field, and they will benefit immensely with hearing you talk about how you are engaging new ideas in your own work.
For undergraduate teaching, you also often can select readings that are closely related to your own work, and sometimes even pilot your own books or articles in class.
Tip #3: Keep lectures to a minimum.
I hope that all of your classes are not 300-student lectures – where lecturing may be the only option. However, if you have 60 students or less in the room, you should be able to engage students in discussion. For a 50-minute class, I usually lecture for about ten to fifteen minutes. I use this time to make it clear to students what topics they need to be paying attention to and what I hope to accomplish during the class period. Then, I move into discussion and group activities.
Tip #4: Find the schedule that works best for you and ask for it.
Some departments and universities are more flexible about scheduling than others. Knowing what teaching times are best for you is the first step towards getting an ideal teaching time. When works best for you?
In my first job, I was given a teaching schedule of 8am to 10am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I taught at those times for the first year, and then asked to change. Over time, I have realized that the ideal teaching time for me is in the afternoon and that I prefer to teach my classes in three-hour blocks. Thus, I ask for this schedule, and, thus far, have been able to make a case for it.
Tip #5: Set aside specific times for class preparation and stick to them.
This semester, I am fortunate to have only one class that I teach on Wednesday afternoons. I read for class on Monday and Tuesday evenings. I prepare my PowerPoint slides from 10am to noon on Wednesdays, and finalize my notes and grade short papers between 2pm and 3pm when class starts. I use Thursday office hours to respond to student inquiries and to deal with other things related to teaching. Since I know I have time set aside for each of these activities, I rarely think about class outside of those times.
Tip #6: Engage the students in discussion from the first day of class.
As I said above, I rarely lecture, and when I do, my lectures are short. Once I have finished conveying information to students, I ask them a series of questions. My class preparation thus involves preparing a short lecture, and then preparing a list of questions to ask students. I go through the questions, asking them one by one. Sometimes it becomes clear that I need to clarify certain points, so I may move back into a brief lecture. Other times students may take class in a direction I had not anticipated, so I try and bring them around. Either way, a discussion-based class is more engaging and requires less preparation than preparing and practicing an hour-long lecture.
Tip #7: Use rubrics for grading.
Grading is another area that can be very field-specific. However, most fields allow for the use of rubrics to grade papers. I assign two five-page papers in each of my 45-student undergraduate classes, and use rubrics to grade them. The rubrics are straightforward and allow me to communicate effectively with students what points they are getting and what points they are missing. That way, I do not have to write extensive comments on their papers.
In fact, unless you are a language teacher, you should not line-edit your students’ work. And, even if you are a language teacher, this guide explains that you should only line-edit the first 20 percent and then let students do the rest of the editing themselves.
There you have it – my seven tips for being a more efficient teacher.
Although readers have often asked for this post, I have waited a long time to write it, in part because it seems a bit taboo to suggest that we try and minimize the amount of time we spend teaching. We are professors after all! On the other hand, I should say that I consistently get very high teaching evaluations and students regularly communicate to me that they learn a lot in my classes. On my most recent set of student evaluations, my teaching scores were an average of 6.7 out of 7. Student evaluations are only one measure of teaching success – but I thought I would share that with you as further evidence that you do not have to spend 40 hours each week preparing for one class for that class to be successful.
I recognize that these tips may be best suited to someone in a situation similar to mine – teaching in the social sciences at a large public institution. However, I imagine that any professor would find at least some of these suggestions helpful.
Let me know what works for you in your quest to be an effective and efficient teacher.
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