Leadership In Higher Education
For a long time, America has been known for seeking higher civic and moral purposes in all its undertakings. Campus faculties have been on the run to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary tools to be leaders in the future but at the same time connecting with the current world (Hollander, 1999). The doors of universities, unlike in the past are now open to everyone including the minorities, the immigrants and even international students.
The students are trained on professional and technical skills that they must posses. Both the parents and students visualize higher education as an investment and do expect returns at the end of it all. Scholars argue that a college is a place where students, in collaboration with their faculties work together to enhance teaching and learning. It is a place where one is allowed to express oneself freely but at the same time observing courtesy. According to Green and Barblan (2004), it is a community where one’s sacredness in obeyed and diversity recognized. Here, obligations are carried out with no compromise and behaviors are governed by laid out rules for the good of everyone. Tpectations. Rarely are they achieved because the students are perceived as customers.
The services rendered are thus compromised so as to maximize profits. Students on the other hand have a notion of just going to classes at their own pleasure, seek professors’ attention and demand to succeed with less strain than what they input in their previous academic levels. Others would view these institutions as places where faculties would just wait upon them and fulfill all their demands without considering costs.
There are so a many challenges that face these higher institutions of learning. Over years, there has been the challenge on the quality of students produced, financial concerns, faculty frustrations and technological challenges (Saleh, Lamkim & Cox, 2008). The biggest problem currently facing university presidents is production of quality students. Depending on regional placements, there are institutions branded as the best. The main criterion used to categorize these institutions is the quality of students they give. Institutions could produce some very good students based on the quality of their professionalism. Parents would strive to enrol their children in such places. However, so much sacrifices go along with this.
So many challenges would be encountered in the process of trying to achieve these objectives. First is financial difficulties. The state has been deteriorating in its mandate to fund public institutions. Probably, the increase in intake numbers has led to this. The state has been overwhelmed by the numbers and their allocations for higher education have since become too limited.
The little income the institutions find for themselves become very challenging as they try to satisfy the expected standards of training students. These numbers are not only affecting the state but also the institutions. Providing for the individual needs of these students become very tricky when they are in extremely large numbers. Facilities end up being overstretched and thus limited to the satisfaction of the students. The lecturers too are faced with a hard time trying to impart the necessary skills with limited resources.
Technology is another challenge. Everyday comes with its inventions only to make life even better. Keeping at par with these changes has been a major concern. No sooner are new facilities acquired than they become obsolete. Similarly, lecturers are faced with the challenge of updating their knowledge so that they don’t teach what they were taught but rather what is current in the world.
Knowledge keeps advancing and new discoveries made every now and then. It is thus the duty of the respective faculties to educate their members of staff on proper measures to take in order to ensure that they are not left behind. The basic foundation laid on these students could also be a problem. Most O-level institutions, especially the private ones would concentrate on making their students pass and join universities at the expense of them acquiring the necessary skills.
The core role of higher institutions of learning is to recognize students’ complexity and diversity. Without any discrimination, all students are imparted with the required knowledge. Despite the financial hardships, the presidents of these institutions should look for alternatives to make sure that these students are equipped with the necessary knowledge and are trained accordingly. The lecturers should be encouraged to find out the foundations of these students in academics.
From this, they should come up with best suited methods to determine how these students would be trained. They should come to their level of understanding and with no excuse on the limited resources, provide the best for these students. They should constantly be researching in their respective fields and liaising with professors worldwide to be up to date on the new discoveries around. At no one point should the universities and colleges fail to embrace new technologies. The presidents should see to it that these technological advancements do not pass by their students.
Though leading higher institutions of learning could prove cumbersome, presidents of these institutions should find the best ways possible to solve issues facing them. They should even consult with other presidents the world over to see how best they carry out their activities. At all times, students should receive quality education.
Hollander, E. L., Bringle, R.G., Games R. & Malloy, E.A. (1999). Colleges and universities as citizens. Boston, MA.
Saleh A., Lamkin M. and Cox D. (September, 2008). Empirical Research. The Role of Higher Education in America: A Spa or a Smörgåsbord?, Volume 4, Issue 3,
Green M. and Barblan A. (2004). Higher Education in a Pluralistic World: A Transatlantic View: American Council on Education, Center for Institutional and International Initiatives.