3 administrators share: What makes a great higher ed leader

At a recent event for the Center of Advancing STEM Leadership, several college administrators spoke about increasing representation in STEM and guiding institutional transformations, Autumn Arnett writes for Education Dive.

Pulling from their experiences leading innovation on campus, the administrators outline the key traits of successful college leaders. We rounded up three of our favorite leadership lessons.

1: Embrace failure

"Innovation and a willingness to fail go hand-in-hand," says Beryl McEwan, interim provost at North Carolina A&T State University. If you want to take risks and innovate, you have to be ready to fail, McEwan says. When failure happens, leaders must "move on and learn the lesson," she advises.

Leadership isn't all about failure. Great higher ed leaders also remember to celebrate the small victories, McEwan says.

2: Empower faculty to drive strategy

There's a frequent "us versus them" phenomenon that goes on between faculty and administrators. But as colleges and universities undertake ambitious new projects, administrators need faculty support to make the initiatives a success.

Great leaders help faculty connect their goals to the institution's strategic priorities, says Angela Peters, vice provost of academic programs at Claflin University. To win campus buy-in for institution-wide transformations, Peters ensures that faculty have a voice in developing plans. According to Peters, higher ed leaders must empower departments to break silos and keep the "entire university's success" in mind, she says.

Also see: How to engage faculty in your student success initiatives

3: Collaborate with others

Eugene DeLoatch, dean emeritus of Morgan State University's school of engineering, considers his ability to collaborate as essential to his leadership success, Arnett writes.

According to DeLoatch, higher ed leadership is about seeking collective impact and forming strategic partnerships. When leaders empower their teams for collective impact, they can transform communities and institutions, DeLoatch says (Arnett, Education Dive, 1/29).

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