A new practical guide for higher education leaders offers is likely to be a valued resource for Australian university executives.
Avondale Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerri-Lee Krause has poured life lessons from leadership at multiple institutions into her new book, Learner-centred Leadership in Higher Education: A Practical Guide.
While it is grounded in theory and first-hand experience, the book is littered with case studies and reflection points and is clearly intended to be used as a practical manual – particularly for those new to the executive wing.
Professor Krause makes a strong pitch for empathetic, student-focused leaders – explaining that ‘learner-centred leaders’ must be thinking not just about what they can do for students – but also deliberately rounding up their knowledge and skills by seeking to learn from students and staff.
The ‘ask not (just) what you can do for your students, but also what your students can do for you’ learning mantra is to prepare leaders for an immersion into the HE world.
“One of the many privileges and challenges of leading in HE is that we find ourselves at the centre of supercomplexity and wicked problems that come across our desk or desktop multiple times each day,” Professor Krause writes.
The book clarifies the distinction between management and leadership, making a case for collaborative leadership by people who practice a commitment to learning and growing each day they are in the job.