Joint Paper Session NW 22 and NW 26
This study investigates the ways in which female professors define their role as intellectual leaders. Currently, women account for just 21.7 per cent of UK professors (Equality Challenge Unit, 2014). Despite gender inequality been characterised (Morley, 2013), as a critical deficiency in higher education leadership, there remains comparatively little research on how female professors define and practice their roles as intellectual leaders. Additionally as it is becoming more common for professors to not have a formal managerial portfolio (Macfarlane, 2012), female professors are often excluded from conventional research on leadership. Thus, little is known about how female professors define and practice their roles as intellectual leaders.
Until recently, the higher education leadership literature’s emphasis has been on formal management roles and functions (e.g. Bright and Richards, 2001, Knight and Trowler, 2001, Smith et al., 2007). There has been logic in this. The university has undergone great changes in the past few generations. Massification has led to greater student numbers. This has expanded the size of universities, the numbers of universities and the scope of universities. Neo-liberal economic policies and a shift in opinion as to whether higher education is a public or private good have led to decreased public funding and forced universities to be more entrepreneurial and competitive (Carpentier, 2012, Marginson, 2006). In addition, globalisation has meant that this competition for funding, students and faculty is no longer done at the domestic level, but at the globally. These changes have forced universities to operate like businesses (Bok, 2009). This includes a professional management structure, with hybrid academic/managerial roles (Whitchurch, 2006). With this background, literature on the academic profession has focused on the profession has been impacted. There has been a sense of embattlement among the profession (Enders and Musselin, 2008). Part of this has been since the number of new academic positions has not swelled to match that of student. This has lead to an oversupply for PhDs (Kim, 2010) increased stress with decreased job satisfaction and a lower social status (Shin and Jung, 2014).
While the literature analyses leadership structures and their impact on academics in general, there is little on informal leadership of senior academics with professorial titles. Tight (2002) identified that professors often perform academic citizenry (Slaughter and Leslie, 1997), by helping less experienced colleagues develop by mentoring. In addition, professors may represent the university in respect to its wider societal purposes as public intellectuals (Macfarlane, 2012). Despite this informal leadership, professors are not thought of as strategic leaders. This has been exacerbated by the managerial culture taking hold in universities. While some professors possess a managerial role in a sort of ‘multi-professional’ or hybrid role (Whitchurch 2006), their influence mainly comes from their managerial rather than academic positions (Macfarlane, 2012).
Rayner et al. (2010) revealed that the literature is scarce on professors' leadership roles, though noted that they possess a sense of being intellectual leaders. Macfarlane (2012) defines this as one who influences based on inspiration and power of ideas as opposed to fear. This leadership form is widely perceived to be the most effective means of developing the next generation (Ryan and Peters, 2015).
Whilst work has emerged in recent years on professors as leaders there has been comparatively little research on how women professors define and practice their role as intellectual leaders. The underrepresentation of women in the UK professoriate means it is important to consider this as one of the important ‘absences’ in university leadership (Morley, 2013).
Thus, this paper’s research question is:
What ways in which women professors define and exercise their role as intellectual leaders locally, nationally and internationally?
Bawazeer, W. & Gunter, H. M. 2016. Using the curriculum vitae in leadership research. Management in Education, 1-5. Bright, D. F. & Richards, M. P. 2001. The Academic Deanship: Individual Careers and Institutional Roles, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Carpentier, V. 2012. Public-private substitution in higher education: Has cost-sharing gone too far? Higher Education Quarterly, 66, 363-390. Dietz, J. S., Chompalov, I., Bozeman, B., O'Neil Lane, E. & Park, J. 2000. Using the curriculum vita to study the career paths of scientists and engineers: An exploratory assessment. Scientometrics, 49, 419-422. Enders, J. & Musselin, C. 2008. Back to the future? The academic profession in the 21st century. Higher Education to 2030. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Equality Challenge Unit 2014. Equality in higher education: Statistical report 2014. London: ECU. Evans, L., Homer, M. & Rayner, S. 2013. Professors as Academic Leaders: The perspectives of 'the led'. . Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41, 674-689. Kim, T. 2010. Transnational academic mobility, knowledge, and identity capital. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 31, 577-591. Knight, P. & Trowler, P. 2001. Departmental Leadership in Higher Education, London, McGraw-Hill Education. Macfarlane, B. 2012. Intellectual Leadership in Higher Education: Renewing the Role of the University Professor, London, Routledge. Marginson, S. 2006. Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher Education, 52, 1-39. Morley, L. 2013. Women and higher education leadership: Absences and inspirations. Stimulus Paper. London: LfHE. Rayner, S., Fuller, M., McEwen, L. & Roberts, H. 2010. Managing leadership in the UK university: A case for researching the missing professorate? Studies in Higher Education, 35, 617-631. Ryan, M. K. & Peters, K. 2015. Leadership and work-life balance. HELM Survey. London: LfHE. Shin, J. C. & Jung, J. 2014. Academics job satisfaction and job stress across countries in the changing academic environments. Higher Education. Slaughter, S. & Leslie, L. L. 1997. Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press. Smith, D., Adams, J. & Mount, D. 2007. UK universities and executive officers: The changing role of pro-vice-chancellors: Final report. London: LfHE. Tight, M. 2002. What does it mean to be a professor? Higher Education Review, 34, 15-32. Whitchurch, C. 2006. Who do they think they are? The changing identities of professional administrators and managers in UK higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 28, 159-171.
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