I have never been a Patriots fan. However, after watching them raise their 6th Super Bowl banner before the start of last night’s game, I began to think about what I know of their franchise.
It is owned by Robert Kraft. He purchased the team back in 1994 and he is still the owner. Bill Belichick was named the coach back in 2000. He is still the head coach/general manager. Tom Brady was drafted by in 2000. He is still their franchise quarterback. There’s only a couple of players and coaches on the roster that have been there throughout the dynasty that is Kraft-Belichick-Brady. 9 Super Bowl appearances. 6 Super Bowl wins. 19 years. This longevity speaks to the success of this franchise. There have been lows and highs, but in the midst of the lows, they did not change who many would consider the 3 most important positions – the owner, the head coach, the quarterback. To me, this speaks of stability… of leadership.
This made me reflect on my experience in academia. During my 4 year tenure in my first position, there were 3 different Presidents, 2 different Provosts, and 2 different Deans. During my 2.5 years in my second position, I had 3 different department chairs in my first 3 semesters. Currently, in my second year of my third position, there seems to be a bit more stability in leadership. However, there is some shuffling happening and it seems that the people in place may not have been their that long.
Now, comparing academia to football, the academic trifecta would be the President, Provost, and Dean; however, Department Chair would need to be added to the leadership stability team. When these 4 positions are stable, effective, efficient, I believe it leads to success for both faculty and students. When I think about the institutions that are commonly named at the top of various lists of success metrics, it is usually institutions that I hear nothing about in terms of new Presidents or other high ranking leadership positions. I wonder if our institutions would garner much more success if the leadership team was stable over a period of time…
Stassi the Exhausted Academic
One thought on “TurnUP Tuesdays w/Stassi: Footballs & Leadership”
Perhaps a part of the answer is for those who are applying for academic jobs to go in with a different set of questions for the search committee members that include:
1. How long have each of you served in your roles?
2. What do you like most about your job?
3. What would you like to help change about the department to improve productivity for students, staff and faculty?
4. When did you have your last sabbatical and what rejuvenating activities did you pursue during that time?
5. Which research universities and national labs do you have active collaboration with and what types of projects are you pursuing?
6. How many K-12 schools are department faculty partnering with on active (funded) outreach projects?
7. Which national/international conferences do you attend annually? What do you feel are the significant benefits of those conferences in helping you to be productive as a faculty member?
I think these are a few questions that could help an applicant paint a more full picture of the department far more than the typical questions we are expected to ask.
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