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Institutional Mission & Campus Environments


Christine Austin

on 3 February 2010

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Transcript of Institutional Mission & Campus Environments

Institutional Missions
& Campus Environments

Knowing your Place
in Time and Space
business organizations -- entrepreneurial, purpose is to make a profit
government organizations -- not profit-oriented, but held accountable for funding and outcomes by government sponsor
not-for-profit organizations -- not profit-oriented, also called private, receive little or no tax funding
Organizations are complex social structures set up and perpetuated to accomplish specific goals. they exist in a context and their partipants develop and use a "technology" to accomplish goals. Organizations are not, however, simply goal-oriented. the behavior within organizations is more complex than that. (Davis, 2003, p. 21)
five basic components:
social structures -- "the patterned or regularized aspects of the relationships existing in an organization"
participants -- "those individuals who, in return for a variety of inducements, make contributions to the organization"
goals -- "conceptions of desired ends ... that participants attempt to achieve through their performance of task activities"
technology -- the means used (equipment, technical knowledge, skills) to get the work of the organization done
environment -- "the specific physical, technological, cultural, and social environment to which it must adapt." (Scott, 1998).
1. Which category of postsecondary institution do you serve--proprietary, public, or private? Can you identify ways that fundamental purposes affect such things as program planning, budgeting, admission of students, fundraising, campus building projects, and student services?
2. How big is the institution you serve and what difference does that make in your role in the institution, your challenges in administration, and your opportunities for leadership?
rational -- scientific in pursuit of goals, often bureaucratic in management
classical -- preoccupied with efficiency and formal structures to achieve desired results
human relational -- composed of human beings who are social creatures who work best together as their needs aremet
conflict oriented -- driven by internal conflict, which is seen as natural and essential, and concerned with maintaining equilibrium through balances of power
interactional -- characterized by simple trades or complex interactions, in which exchange, reciprocity, and mutual dependence are important
technological -- structured by the technologies used to shape raw material into a product or deliver a service
holistic -- operating as systems within systems to be seen not as parts but as one open system, fluid within and open to its larger environment.
political systems
psychic prisons,
flux and transformation
and instruments of domination
3. Using the descriptors presented above, or by creating some of your own, what image do you think best describes the postsecondary institution you are currently serving? Are alternative images needed to describe other institutions you know or have known? As you employ these images to describe theinstitution you serve, what difference does it make to you as an administrator or leader to think of the institution in this way?
Maxim 1:
Institutions vary according to fundamental purpose, size, and image. Classifying the institution, that is, locating it by type and image, provides a valuable framework for thinking about why certain things happen at the institution, why problems take the shape they do, and which solutions are likely to be acceptable and unacceptable. ((Davis, 2003, p. 23)
Maxim 2
Types of Organizations
as Metaphor
"because organizations are complex, surprising, and deceptive, they are often ambiguous." (Bolman & Deal, 1991, p. 26)
rational systems -- "collectivities oriented to the pursuit of relatively specific goals and exhibiting relatively high formalized social structure"
natural systems -- "collectivities whose participants are pursuing multiple interests, both disparate and common, but recognize the value of perpetuating the organization as an important resource"
open systems --organizations that "are systems of interdependent activities linking shifting coalitions of participants." (Scott, 1998, p. 26)
4. Select one or two instances of what seem to you to be puzzling or ambiguous behavior in your institution. Complete the sentence: "I don't understand why ..." and then try to explain the behavior by using one or more of the organizational perspectives: rational, natural, and open systems.
Lenses for Behavior
Birnbaum's Typologies
The Collegial Institution - emphasis is on consensus, shared power, and consultation. A strong community is held together by shared values, and civil discourse is used to resolve disagreements. Leaders come from the group and are the agents for the faculty.
The Bureaucratic Institution - clear, hierarchical organization chart, establishes chain of command through job descriptions and rules and regulations. The emphasis is on effective and efficient operation, and tradition or charisma legitimates leaders.
The Political Institution - conflict is regarded as inevitable, and the allocation of resources is vigorously contested. Decision making is political, diffuse, and ecentralized. Leadership is by persuasion, diplomacy, and mediation.
The Anarchical Institution - participants do almost as they wish in a semi-organized anarchy, characterized by minimal coordination and control. Goals are ambiguous and there is no clear educational philosophy. People move in and out of the governance process, participating only when they have interest. Issues are clouded by additional "garbage" thrown into the system. leadership is an illusion, or at best symbolic with low influence.
The Cybernetic Institution - reasonable degree of stability is brough to a complex system through organizational thermostats working as self-correcting monitors. Multiple decision makers work in subsystems to provide structural controls. Leaders engage in squeaky-wheel administration, paying attention mostly to what is wrong, and offering short-term solutions.
5. Recall one or two recent decisions at your institution. Do they illustrate or at least suggest a dominant governance model that may be operative for the institution? How do decision-making processes affect the way individuals behave toward each other at your institution? What are the implications for leadership; that is, given this dominant governance model, how might you contribute most as a leader?
Maxim 3
In addition to understanding the type of institution being served, it is also important to think about the various kinds of behavior that take place within the organization. In seeking explanations for behavior that may at first appear to be puzzling or ambiuous, it is useful to examine the institution through the lenses of rational, natural, and open systems, and to try to identify the predominant governance model as collegial, bureaucratic, political, anarchic, ro cybernetic. An effective leader understands organizational behavior.
Mission, History, and Culture
What business (taken with the meaning of enterprise or activity) are we in?
different institutions,
unique historical origins
small liberal arts colleges or baccalaureates
land-grant universities or research universities
church-related colleges
historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
Native American tribal colleges
Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs)
masters degree granting universities
community colleges
Organizations have:

organizational sagas - collective understanding of unique accomplishments"

cultures - set of patterns of behavior and cultural expectations guiding people in the system as appropriate modes of operating
What holds this place together?
How does this place run?
What does it expect from its leaders?
How are things done around here?
Questions Effective Leaders Ask:
Four Cultures
collegial culture - values the "disciplines," "faculty research and scholarship," "the generation, interpretation and dissemination of knowledge," and building "qualities of character" in "future leaders."
managerial culture - finds meaning in "the organization, implementation, and evaluation of the work" of the insittution and values "fiscal responsibility" and "supervisory skills."
developmental culture - "finds meaning in the creation of programs and activities" that benefit the "personal and professional growth of all members of the collegiate community," and encourages "cognitive, affective, and behavioral maturation among students, faculty, administrators, and staff."
negotiating culture - values "equitable and egalitarian distribution of resources and benefits," "confrontation and fair bargaining among constituencies" with opposite interests, and the development of "more liberating social attitudes andstructures."
6. What is the mission of the institution you serve? How is it expressed? What is your institution's Carnegie classification? What is its organizational saga? How would you characterize your institution's culture? Is it a strong or weak culture? Is it positive or negative? Is it distinctive, clear, and congruent, and is there consensus about it? What are the subcultures? To which one do you belong? Have you ever broken cultural norms at your institution? How do the answers to these questions help you become a more effective leader?
Maxim 4
Postsecondary institutions have a mission, an organizational saga, and various manifestations of culture and subculture. Effective leaders are diligent in finding out about the nature of the institution they serve, and they search systematically for the webs of meaning that have been woven at the institution to explain its purposes and norms. They ask three important questions about the institution: What business are we in? What story do we tell? What is the cultural glue that holds the place together?
Administrative Roles
& Reporting Lines
Administrators need to know what the work of other administrators is at their institution, how key roles are defined and filled, and how various positions are related.
Four Main Functions
The academic functions of research, teaching, and service
The provision of services to students
The management of finances and business operations
The cultivation of resources, including public relations and interactions with alumni and parents
7. Can you identify the key administrative offices in your institution and the names of the people who occupy these offices? Do you know what they do and what they believe about their work? How do their roles affect the way they see the organization?
8. Do you know how your institution is organized? What do you note when you study its organization chart? Is the form well fitted to function? Can you foresee potential problem areas? do you know where you fit?
Maxim 5
All institutions organize work into offices and roles. Understanding these roles and who serves in them is important. Having an overview of thow they are arranged provides additional insight into the institution as an organization. Sometimes leaders need to redefine roles and change the arrangements among them.
Does size matter?
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