Book by Ronald J. Henry
Review by Anna M. Kent
Administrative Advising Coordinator
School of Education
Piedmont College, Athens Center
Transitions Between Faculty and Administrative Careers covers issues that faculty face as they take on administrative duties. Both the pitfalls and the benefits of academic administration are discussed from multiple perspectives. While the authors reference Higher Education research and managerial theories they also speak of their personal experiences. In this book, administrators who have balanced the dichotomy of academe and institutional administration share the challenges they faced and how they met them.
A full spectrum of topics related to transitioning from faculty to administration as well as from administration back to faculty is addressed in this book. The skills necessary for a successful administrator and how to develop these skills are presented in a variety of ways. Training, whether it occurs on-the-job, through an informal mentor or in a formal institutional program, is the jumping off point in this book’s discussion of transitioning. From here chapter authors lead the reader through detailed strategies for looking at issues through an administrative lens, adjusting to shifting professional relationships with colleagues, setting realistic goals that can be met during a reasonable timeframe, and practicing managerial skills that focus on productivity as well as morale. Developing and maintaining professional relationships is valued without compromising the balance of personal and professional lives. The importance of seeing the big picture is not overshadowed by the importance of recognizing the individual talents of each faculty and staff member.
This book is an excellent introduction to academic administration for faculty and career administrators alike. Faculty can use it as a guide to plan their future careers. While this is not a necessary resource, professional academic advisors will benefit from the perspective gained from reading this book. Seeing administration and administrative responsibilities through the eyes of faculty will aid an advisor’s ability to understand all the facets of an institution.
Chapter authors present strategies as “trade secrets” being shared among colleagues. The authors struggled and succeeded on their paths from faculty to administration and back again. The knowledge gained from their experiences is shared in an effort to ease the transition for other faculty and to improve administration within higher education as a whole.
Transitions Between Faculty and Administrative Careers (New Directions for Higher Education, No. 134). (2006). Ronald J. Henry (Ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 112 pp., Price $ 29.00, (paperback), ISBN # 0-7879-8829-4
Transitions Between Faculty and Administrative Careers (New Directions for Higher Education, No. 134). (2006). Book by Ronald J. Henry (Ed.) Review by Anna M. Kent. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 112 pp., Price $ 29.00, (paperback), ISBN # 0-7879-8829-4