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Preparations for Department Leadership: A Phenomenology

Alisha Hanshaw, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Department level leadership, held by faculty members, is overlooked in previous research discussing faculty leadership roles. Through analysis of literature related to administrative leadership roles held by faculty and the preparation received, types of leadership in higher education, and the reflections of former faculty in leadership roles; a gap in the literature was identified. I have a vested interest in graduate education and wanted to investigate the preparations provided for faculty in the graduate chair role. Sixteen faculty members, who have either formerly served or are currently serving as graduate chairs, were interviewed. The intent of the interviews as to understand their preparation for the role and to identify how future faculty could be prepared for the role. Further investigation into the phenomenon revealed that 100% of participants received no formal preparation for the role. The findings of the study support the faculty desire for training, outlines the need for succession planning, and calls to attention the lack of authority and power in the graduate chair role.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Hanshaw, Alisha, "Preparations for Department Leadership: A Phenomenology" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27548447.