Developing Leadership: 5 Ways Colleges Can Cultivate Leaders for Higher Ed

developing leader from staff

Like all successful organizations, higher education institutions need good leaders. Not just now, but in the future. However, leadership roles are not the same as they were in the past, and future leaders must prepare for ongoing changes. Therefore, colleges and universities need to cultivate leaders for the higher education field. And they can do so amid their current administrators, faculty, and academic staff. Here are five ways colleges and universities can cultivate leaders. 


The Need for Developing Higher Ed Leadership 

The roles of higher education leaders have increasingly evolved over the years because of the advances in technology. Positions such as chief online learning officer and a chief information security officer weren’t even a thought a few decades ago. Now, these leadership roles are essential to the function and success of colleges and universities. 


Therefore, colleges and universities can develop these positions and all leadership roles in higher education because of the complexity of these roles. In other words, higher education needs critical professionals to lead the industry’s future. Specifically, college leaders must collaborate to lead. Moreover, regular professional development, reflection, and other assets foster good leadership qualities. 


1.) Provide In-House Training Opportunities to Develop Leadership

Besides that, colleges can create in-house training programs for staff and faculty when developing leadership. For example, these opportunities can take the form of seminars, certification programs, and academies. Thus, colleges can include informal pathways such as leadership luncheons and mentoring, Therefore, in-house training can be tailored to the school’s goals, values, culture, and future strategies for best outcomes.


2.) Motivate Staff to Develop Leadership Skills 

Not only should leaders receive training, but colleges should also encourage faculty and academic staff to develop leadership skills. Often, faculty advance into higher education leadership roles, such as deans, provosts, and administrators. Helping them cultivate leadership qualities prepares the next generation of higher education leaders.


3.) Promote Inclusion to Develop Leadership  

Moreover, higher education leadership training should center around inclusion and diversity. Just as college students are diverse in culture, gender, interests, backgrounds, and race, college leaders should be diverse too. Making inclusion a foundational principle of leadership strengthens the institution and capitalizes on the contributions of all individuals.


4.) Keep the Staff Engaged While Developing Leadership for Higher Ed

Besides that, colleges can promote engagement to drive satisfaction results. One way is to have ongoing staff recognition, recognizing faculty, academic staff, and administrators for their leadership skills. These efforts can include having top performers share their successful experiences with others.


5.) Developing Leadership Nurtures the Institution to Move in the Best Direction

Most importantly, as colleges cultivate leaders among current leaders, faculty, and staff, they establish a vibrant future for their institutions. Good leaders nurture an institution to move in the best direction. Colleges can facilitate these characteristics by encouraging collaboration and recognizing the potential for leaders within their current workforce.  


In summary, higher education institutions can cultivate leaders. By following these five principles, colleges and universities can prepare administrators, faculty, and staff to lead their institutions successfully into the future.


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