Think like an Administrator–just for a minute

How many times have you heard a faculty colleague comment that becoming an administrator is moving to the “dark side”?  It’s true, faculty and administrators often think differently, but why is that?  And what are the priorities one has to make as an administrator?  The article excerpted from Inside Higher Ed points the key differences.

When I moved into my first faculty position after earning my Ph.D., I had been an academic administrator for several years — and had been an administrator some years before, too. Moving into the “faculty mindset” wasn’t hard for me at first. I was expected to focus on my teaching and research, asked to commit to service when it was needed, and was otherwise free to go about my business as I saw fit.

It didn’t take long, however, for me to start to chafe at the disconnection: I had very little sense of what was going on in the wider university that didn’t directly impact my work or wasn’t in the student newspaper. I was used to knowing more, being part of the larger project of education on campus. That’s a central part of why I sought administrative work after only a short time in a purely faculty role. It was also the moment when I realized that there really is an administrative mindset that comes with changing roles.

So, just how do administrators think differently than faculty?  In several key ways that must be clear to anyone considering a move from one side of the line to the other in academe.  And trust me, it’s a clear line.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed


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