Challenges of Deans for Academic Affairs in the Technical College System of Georgia
Allen, Teresa Anne
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this descriptive study was to develop a profile of Deans for Academic Affairs in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to include identified perceived job challenges related to their responsibilities. Job challenges were analyzed to see if the challenges differed based on the size of the colleges. Demographic information was gathered from the Deans, including specifics regarding the division supervised and college represented. Determining the perceived job challenges related to the daily work of deans provided awareness of where leadership development opportunities may be needed. Deans’ positions are standard personnel positions in the Academic Affairs divisions of TCSG colleges. The design for this study was exploratory and descriptive focusing only on identification of perceived job challenges of TCSG Academic Deans. To gather data for the study, an electronic survey was administered to 109 TCSG Deans representing 24 TCSG colleges. The study was modeled after the Seagren, Wheeler, Creswell, Miller, and VanHorn-Grassmeyer (1994) national study of chairpersons in community colleges. Midlevel academic leadership in community and technical colleges provide support to chief academic officers. One may be speculate that midlevel academic leaders have always been a part of higher education, these positions only have come into being in the past few decades (Robillard, 2000). A wide variety of job titles can be found for these midlevel academic leaders. Gillett-Karam (1999) and Wild, Ebbers, Shelley, and Gmelch (2003) reported common job titles for midlevel academic leaders include deans, academic deans, assistant deans, directors, department heads, department chairs, division chairs, and program coordinators. Midlevel academic leaders “wear many hats.” The multiplicity of responsibilities are demanding an the leader may need to use different leadership approaches, motivational techniques, and creative strategies that offer intrinsic and/or extrinsic rewards. The midlevel academic leader has a responsibility to assist faculty in understanding the mission, purpose, and goals of the college. Midlevel academic leaders should be focused on eliminating problems hindering goal attainment. Adjustments may need to be made according to the needs of the faculty and based on the complexity or understanding of the tasks required (Cohen & Brawer, 1996; Tucker, 1984).