Purpose – The purpose of this research is to analyze traditional duties of academic administrators in light of fundamental changes in the ways universities operate, increasing demands in teaching, research and costs management, and a looming shortage of qualified faculty, to determine need and opportunity for a better administrative design. Design/methodology/approach – Survey, interview and budget data are collected across a major public university. Findings – Across seven categories of chair duties, 71.3 percent of time demands, more than 3.5 of 5 days in a typical week, involve general managerial tasks that require no discipline‐specific academic credentials. Costs of performing these tasks, both in the way of lost productivity and extra pay, are compiled. Research limitations/implications – While the personal and institutional costs of placing senior faculty in managerial roles has been well‐discussed, prior research has not been directed toward quantifying those costs to suggest remedy. Practical implications – Delegating appropriate duties to committee and non‐academic staff could free senior faculty in leadership roles to remain fully active in teaching and research, the productive work of colleges they're highly trained and most needed to do. Originality/value – This paper builds foundations for restructuring academic leadership more in tune with current realities within higher education so senior faculty are not consumed with duties more efficiently done other ways.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 22, 2007
Keywords: Educational administration; Universities; Management roles
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