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Positive Academic Leadership: How to Stop Putting Out Fires and Start Making a Difference

ISBN: 978-1-118-53192-1
288 pages
April 2013, Jossey-Bass
Positive Academic Leadership: How to Stop Putting Out Fires and Start Making a Difference (1118531922) cover image


"A book that every academic leader should read and put into practice." —Kim Cameron, associate dean of executive education, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Praise for Positive Academic Leadership

" Buller has produced a book that every academic leader should read and put into practice. Positive Academic Leadership pulls together an amazing array of scientific findings and practical guidelines that will be invaluable for academic leaders looking to improve themselves and their institutions." — Kim Cameron, associate dean, William Russell Professor of Management and Organizations, Ross School of Business; professor of higher education, School of Education, University of Michigan

" If I had a magic wand and could make one wish for all of higher education, it would be that we had better institutional leadership. Whether one is a chair, dean, provost, president, or on the Board of Trustees, this book can make a world of difference in your ability to provide that leadership!" — L. Dee Fink, author, Creating Significant Learning Experiences; former president, Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education

" Buller's book brings hope for leadership in higher education by emphasizing the importance of a positive approach that empowers and inspires others. Positive Academic Leadership has the potential to transform higher education for the benefit of students, faculty, and ultimately our communities and our world." — Kina S. Mallard, provost and vice president of academic affairs, Carson-Newman University

" Academic leaders who find themselves engulfed in negative thinking and considering only damage control scenarios for pressing issues will want to read this book. Employing what Jeffrey Buller calls 'positive academic leadership' is, I believe, essential to transforming feelings of despair into constructive leadership." — Mary Lou Higgerson, vice president for academic affairs, emerita, Baldwin Wallace University

" I can't recall reading any book on leadership that is more applicable to the work of faculty development. Every academic leader—faculty member, chair, dean, or campus administrator—will benefit from Jeffrey Buller's evidence-based model and practices of positive academic leadership." — Mary Deane Sorcinelli, associate provost for faculty development, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Table of Contents

About the Author ix

Introduction xi

PART ONE Exploring Positive Academic Leadership

1 What Positive Leadership Means 3

2 Alternative Approaches to Academic Leadership 25

3 Applying the Positive Leadership Model to Higher Education 43

PART TWO Positive Approaches for Yourself

4 Positive Language 67

5 Positive Perspectives 83

6 Positive Strategies 101

PART THREE Positive Approaches for Faculty, Staff, and Students

7 The Academic Leader as Coach 123

8 The Academic Leader as Counselor 143

9 The Academic Leader as Conductor 161

PART FOUR Positive Approaches for Higher Education as a Whole

10 Positive Administration Throughout the Institution 183

11 The Crisis Industry and How Positive Leaders Should Respond to It 205

12 Playing to Our Strengths 227

Index 249

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Author Information

Jeffery L. Buller is dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Academic Leadership Day by Day; The Essential Department Chair; The Essential Academic Dean; The Essential College Professor; and Best Practices in Faculty Evaluation, all from Jossey-Bass.

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