1st Edition

Women in Academic Leadership Professional Strategies, Personal Choices

Edited By Susan J. Bracken, Jeanie K. Allen, Diane R. Dean Copyright 2009

    Colleges and universities benefit from diversity in their leadership roles and profess to value diversity--of thought, of experience, of person. Yet why do women remain under-represented in top academic leadership positions and in key positions along the academic career ladder?Why don’t they advance at a rate proportional to that of their male peers? How do internal and external environmental contexts still influence who enters academic leadership and who survives and thrives in those roles? Women in Academic Leadership complements its companion volumes in the Women in Academe series, provoking readers to think critically about the gendered nature of academic leadership across the spectrum of institutional types. It argues that leadership, the academy, and the nexus of academic leadership, remain gendered structures steeped in male-oriented norms and mores. Blending research and reflection, it explores the barriers and dilemmas that these structures present and the professional strategies and the personal choices women make in order to successfully surmount them. The authors pose questions about how women leaders negotiate between their public and private selves. They consider how women develop a vital sense of self-efficacy along with the essential skills and knowledge they need in order to lead effectively; how they cultivate opportunity; and how they gain legitimacy and maintain authenticity in a male-gendered arena. For those who seek to create an institutional environment conducive to equity and opportunity, this book offers insight into the pervasive barriers facing women of all colors and evidence of the need for a more complex, multi-dimensional view of leadership. For women in academe who seek to reach their professional potential and maintain authenticity, it offers encouragement and a myriad of strategies for their growth and development.

    INTRODUCTION THE BALANCING ACT REVISITED Professional Strategy and Personal Choice on the Path to Academic Leadership 1. LEADING GRACEFULLY Gendered Leadership at Community Colleges 2. NARRATING GENDERED LEADERSHIP 3. THE ROLE OF SELF-EFFICACY IN DEVELOPING WOMEN LEADERS A Case of Women in Academic Medicine and Dentistry 4. BARRIERS TO WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN FAITH-BASED COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES Strategies for Change 5. INFORMAL LEARNING AMONG WOMEN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENTS 6. RESOURCES, ROLE MODELS, AND OPPORTUNITY MAKERS Mentoring Women in Academic Leadership 7. PREPARING WOMEN OF COLOR FOR LEADERSHIP Perspectives on the American Council on Education Fellows Program 8. ADVICE FROM THE FIELD Guiding Women of Color to Academic Leadership 9. WOMEN AND THE QUEST FOR PRESIDENTIAL LEGITIMACY 10. ASSIMILATION, AUTHENTICITY, AND ADVANCEMENT Crafting Integrated Identities as Academic Leaders


    Susan J. Bracken is Assistant Professor of Adult Education, North Carolina State University. Jeanie K. Allen is Visiting Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Drury University. Diane R. Dean is Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Policy, Illinois State University. Claire Van Ummersen is senior advisor at the American Council on Education (ACE), where she served for 5 years as vice president of ACE’s Center for Effective Leadership, and for 4 years as vice president and director of the Office of Women in Higher Education. Van Ummersen is President Emerita of Cleveland State University, having served as president from 1993-2001. Prior to that, Van Ummersen was Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, and has also served with the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education.

    "This edited collection makes for stimulating reading on the challenges and rewards of leading in higher education, and provides an interesting blend of professional advice and personal reflection...This edited collection is strong on the diverse ways in which gender and racial discrimination are embedded into university structures, and how this can negatively influence women’s leadership... For women who wish to further develop their leadership potential, this book contains valuable insights, as well as practical strategies for success."

    The Journal of Women's Intercultural Leadership

    "There is a lack of representation of women in the executive suites of higher education, and the book encourages all women to "exercise personal agency for forstering their own advancement and challenging inequities." The essays include strategies for women seeking to transition into executive leadership positions, and a review of programs taht support leadership initiatives. It is also a source of advice for women in academia seeking to take their career to the next level... For Latinas, this book provides good advice, insight and strategies for those who intend to pursue executive positions. Latinas remain grossly underrepresented in leadership in academia. It is imperative that Latinas position themselves to become academic leaders."

    Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

    "It's a recent thing for women to be anything more than primary school teachers. Women in Academic Leadership: Professional Strategies, Personal Choices discusses women in academic administration and the challenges and advances they have at these high level positions. Many women reflect on their own positions in academia, and how some gender barriers still remain, if being ever weakened by time and common sense. A sample of the thoughts of the thoughts of today's leadership in Academics, Women in Academic Leadership is a fine read for any educational or women's studies collection."

    Midwest Book Review