Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 57–70 | Cite as

Senior Leaders and Teaching Environments: Faculty Perceptions of Administrators’ Support of Innovation

  • Eddie R. ColeEmail author
  • Amber D. Dumford
  • Thomas F. Nelson Laird


We used data from the 2012 administration of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement to measure faculty perceptions of senior leaders’ (e.g., deans, provosts, presidents) support for innovation in teaching. Specifically, this study explored what faculty characteristics predict faculty perceptions of leaders’ support for innovation in teaching and how those perceptions relate to several teaching practices (e.g., active classroom practice). The goal for this study was to gain additional insight into how faculty members approach teaching. The implications of these findings are presented along with some considerations for future research.


Faculty Teaching Innovation Administration 


  1. Anderson, P., Murray, J. P., & Olivarez Jr., A. (2002). The managerial roles of public community college chief academic officers. Community College Review, 30(2), 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astin, A. W., & Scherrei, R. A. (1980). Maximizing leadership effectiveness: Impact of administrative style on faculty and students. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  3. Bilen-Green, C., Froelich, K. A., & Jacobson, S. W. (2008). The prevalence of women in academic leadership positions, and potential prevalence of women in the professional ranks. Women in Engineering ProActive Network Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-11). Retrieved from
  4. Birnbaum, R., Bensimon, E. M., & Neumann, A. (1989). Leadership in higher education: A multi-dimensional approach to research. The Review of Higher Education, 12, 101–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bornstein, R. (2007). Why women make good college presidents. Presidency, 10(2), 20–23.Google Scholar
  6. Bray, N. J. (2008). Proscriptive norms for academic deans: Comparing faculty expectations across institutional and disciplinary boundaries. The Journal of Higher Education, 79, 692–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cejda, B. D., McKenney, C. B., & Burley, H. (2001). The career lines of chief academic officers in public community colleges. Community College Review, 28(4), 31–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chism, N. V. N. (2006). Teaching awards: What do they award? The Journal of Higher Education, 77, 589–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Colby, S. L., & Ortman, J. M. (2015). Projections of the size and composition of the U.S. population: 2014 to 2060. Washington, DC: United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  11. Cook, B. J. (2012). The American college president study: Key findings and takeaways. The presidency. Retrieved from
  12. Del Favero, M. (2006). An examination of the relationship between academic discipline and cognitive complexity in academic deans’ administrative behavior. Research in Higher Education, 47, 281–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dunn, D., Gerlach, J. M., & Hyle, A. E. (2014). Gender and leadership: Reflections on women in higher education administration. International Journal of Leadership and Change, 2(1), 9–18.Google Scholar
  14. Eddy, P. L. (2010). Community college leadership: A multidimensional model for leading change. Sterling, VA: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  15. Fairweather, J. S. (1993). Faculty reward structures: Toward institutional and professional homogenization. Research in Higher Education, 34, 603–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferren, A. S., & Stanton, W. W. (2004). Leadership through collaboration: The role of the chief academic affairs officer. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  17. Fisher, J. L., & Koch, J. V. (1996). Presidential leadership: Making a difference. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx.Google Scholar
  18. Gmelch, W. H., Wolverton, M., Wolverton, M. L., & Sarros, J. C. (1999). The academic dean: An imperiled species searching for balance. Research in Higher Education, 40, 717–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gutierrez, M., Castaneda, C., & Katsinas, S. G. (2002). Latino leadership in community colleges: Issues and challenges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 26, 297–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hobbs, C. (2015, November 10). Missouri football and the second civil rights movement. The Hill. Retrieved from
  21. Holmes, S. L. (2004). Introduction: An overview of African American college presidents: A game of two steps forward, one step backward, and standing still. The Journal of Negro Education, 73, 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hornsby, E. E., Morrow-Jones, H. A., & Ballam, D. A. (2011). Leadership development for faculty women at the Ohio State University: The president and provost’s leadership institute. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 14, 96–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hyland, P., & Beckett, R. (2005). Engendering an innovative culture and maintaining operational balance. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 12, 336–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jablonski, M. (1996). The leadership challenge for women college presidents. Initiatives, 57(4), 1–10.Google Scholar
  25. Kauffman, J. F. (1982). The college presidency – Yesterday and today. Change, 14(4), 12–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Krogstad, J. M., & Fry, R. (2014). More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from Google Scholar
  27. Lattuca, L. R., & Stark, J. S. (2009). Shaping the college curriculum: Academic plans in context. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  28. Levine, A. (1998). Succeeding as a leader: Failing as a president. Change, 30(1), 42–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. MacMillian, I. C. (1987). New business development: A challenge for transformational leadership. Human Resource Management, 26, 439–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mech, T. (1997). The managerial roles of chief academic officers. The Journal of Higher Education, 68, 282–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller, M. E. (2015, November 10). Protest shows colleges are once again becoming civil rights battlegrounds. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
  32. Nelson, S. J. (2000). Leaders in the crucible: The moral voice of college presidents. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  33. Nelson Laird, T. F., & Engberg, M. E. (2011). Establishing differences between diversity requirements and other courses with varying degrees of diversity inclusivity. The Journal of General Education, 60, 117–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nelson Laird, T. F., Niskodé-Dossett, A. S., & Kuh, G. D. (2009). What general education courses contribute to essential learning outcomes. The Journal of General Education, 58, 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson Laird, T. F., Shoup, R., Kuh, G. D., & Schwarz, M. J. (2008). The effects of discipline on deep approaches to student learning and college outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 49, 469–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  37. Reid, L. D. (2010). The role of perceived race and gender in the evaluation of college teaching on Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 3, 137–152Google Scholar
  38. Rocconi, L., & Gonyea, R. M. (2015, November). Contextualizing student engagement effect sizes: An empirical analysis. Paper presented at the 2015 Association for Institutional Research conference, Denver, Colorado.Google Scholar
  39. Scott, R. A. (1982). Review of the book Maximizing Leadership effectiveness: Impact of administrative style on faculty and students by A. W. Astin & R. A. Scherrei. The Journal of Higher Education, 53, 231–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shaw, M. D., Cole, E. R., Harris, C. J., & Nelson Laird, T. L. (2012, April). Patterns in faculty teaching practices on the campuses of HBCUs and PWIs. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Google Scholar
  41. Stephen, A. (1987). Promoting international education: The president sets the pace. Educational Record, 68(2), 18–22.Google Scholar
  42. Thomas, S. L., & Heck, R. H. (2001). Analysis of large-scale secondary data in higher education research: Potential perils associated with complex sampling designs. Research in Higher Education, 42, 517–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tucker, A., & Bryan, R. A. (1991). The academic dean: Dove, dragon, and diplomat (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  44. Williams, J. P. (2016, January 5). Welcome to Missouri, and civil rights 2.0. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from
  45. Willingham-McLain, L. (2015). Using a scholarship of teaching and learning approach to award faculty who innovate. International Journal for Academic Development, 20, 58–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wolfe, B. L., & Dilworth, P. P. (2015). Transitioning normalcy: Organizational culture, African American administrators, and diversity leadership in higher education. Review of Educational Research, 87, 667–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Woods, D. R. (2011). Motivating and rewarding university teachers to improve student learning: A guide for faculty and administrators. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.Google Scholar
  48. Wright, M. C. (2008). Always at odds?: Creating alignment between faculty and administrative values. New York, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eddie R. Cole
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amber D. Dumford
    • 2
  • Thomas F. Nelson Laird
    • 3
  1. 1.College of William and Mary, School of EducationWilliamsburgUSA
  2. 2.University of South Florida, College of EducationTampaUSA
  3. 3.Indiana University, Center for Postsecondary Research, Eigenmann HallBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations