22 SES 12 B, Formation and Academic Development: The Roles and Responsibilities of Academic Developers
Academic Developers (ADs) come from many different fields and are beholden to different stakeholders in universities (Napoli & Clement 2014). One criticism of the roles and responsibilities of that occurs in the literature is that the roles are too narrowly conceived, confined to a rather instrumentalist view of teaching and learning and overly focused on learning outcomes, while others complain of the role being overburdened—too diffuse and thus also all but impossible to fulfil. The purpose of this paper is not to adjudicate on the merits of such assertions. Rather, the focus here is on how key leaders, institutional stakeholders talk about the role of ADs within the overall context of institution’s strategic plans. This paper draws on interviews with 25 senior leaders in five universities—two in Sweden and Norway and one in North America. The five interviews conducted in each institutional context, against a backdrop of a literature review on a) the roles and responsibilities of Ads, and b) the strategic plans of their respective institutions, focus on the perceptions of senior leaders as to the roles and responsibilities exercised by ADs and how in doing what they do, they enhance institutional missions and shape its contours and orientations. Interviews were conducted by a research team consisting of an outsider and insider to assist in the logistics and the cultural, contextual and linguistic considerations such fieldwork entails. The same outsider was involved in all five contexts, while working with a researcher in each of the five universities. The paper will present early stage analysis of evidence under a number of emergent themes.
Di Napoli, R., & Clement, M. (2014). The agency game in academic development: compliance and resistance. International Journal for Academic Development, 19(1), 1-3.
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