Administration: Leadership + Implementation
January 15, 2010
Other than that at the highest levels–presidents and provosts and deans–universities do a shit job of accommodating the fact that effective administration requires two quite different things, the personal and professional traits that make one good at also being quite different: leadership and implementation. This is why corporations have CEOs and COOs.
Way too few departments and programs have both a chair and a vice chair, with the former responsible for leadership and the latter responsible for implementation (i.e., getting shit done). This means that most departments and programs end up either saddled with visionary leaders who can’t be arsed to actually do shit like filing the forms to put people up for promotion, etc, while other departments end up with bureaucratic functionaries who dot all the is and cross all the ts but have no idea why they are doing so or what the big-picture goals are.
It is rare that one person has the ability to excel at both these aspects of administration, and it is fucking stupid to expect otherwise.
(h/t Dean Dad.)