Preparing Higher Education Leaders: A Conceptual, Strategic, and Operational Approach

Leadership is widely accepted as a critical factor to the success, mediocrity, or failure of an organization (Collins, 2001; March & Weil, 2005; Northouse, 2015). This is no less the case in higher education, where the impact of leaders and leadership is critical to academic and administrative effectiveness. This is especially true given the myriad challenges facing higher education, including significant decreases in public support, conflicting opinions about the purpose of higher education, opportunities presented by new technologies for teaching and learning, and a rapidly shifting and competitive global economy. Given this tumultuous environment, there is a pressing need for increased attention to leadership development within colleges and universities (Bolman & Gallos, 2011; Buller, 2014; Gmelch & Buller, 2015; Ruben, 2004; Ruben, De Lisi, & Gigliotti, 2017).