Degree Programme Leader roles and identities in changing times
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This paper empirically examines the pivotal role of degree programme leaders as change agents in higher education. Programme leaders are responsible for managing whole degree programmes, including a complex combination of curriculum, administrative and staff coordination roles. The paper analyses responses from 176 programme leaders in three multi-campus Australian universities, investigating their role conceptions, sources of role stress, and institutional factors influencing role enactment. Challenges of leading academic programmes in multi-campus university settings were also explored. The majority of respondents found the role rewarding, yet expressed frustration at the lack of role clarity and recognition, accompanied by high administrative burdens. The paper explores the significance of these boundary-spanning roles that combine academic and administrative functions, leaving many incumbents uncertain about their role identity and its contribution to future career paths. Implications for supporting programme leaders to achieve a balance between managing information and engaging in wise, strategic thinking are explored.
Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Research Conference 2010
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