US institute helps build understanding between faculty members, administrators

December 17, 2014

Richard A Detweiler, President of the Great Lakes College Association, has created an institute that he hopes will help strengthen the relationship between administrators and faculty. For the past 9 years, Detweiler has brought professors together to participate in the Academic Leadership and Innovation Institute to offer them a sense of what it is like to run a PSE institution. Participants receive briefings on how various PSE stakeholders view a college, compare college concerns, and engage in negotiation exercises to help them find common ground on institutional issues. One exercise, called “Design a College and Make it Work,” gives faculty members 5 hours to learn how money comes into a college and how it goes out. They create imaginary colleges with distinctive missions, and are asked to make their creations work financially. Detweiler says that the Institute’s aim isn’t to show faculty members that administrators are always right, but to give them a glimpse of the broader workings of an institution. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)