Developing Academic Leadership and Innovative Practice: Programme Leader Development Pilot

At a time when Universities find themselves in a shifting economic and regulatory landscape, a focus on core values such as teaching excellence, student engagement, satisfaction and outcomes creates a myriad of opportunities for a University to successfully adapt and enhance their programmes and to respond to the needs of their students and the wider community. The University of Lincoln have been at the forefront of developing and supporting excellence in academic programme leadership.

This project, funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, is a one-university in-depth evaluative case study of pilot work to implement a personal and professional development scheme for academic programme leaders at the University of Lincoln. The project is led by the Human Resources Department at Lincoln (Ros Pepper, Head of Human Resources and Rebecca Sanderson, Organisational Development Advisor) with the Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute providing support and guidance throughout the project.

Addressing key themes such as organisational development, change, leadership development for ensuring excellence in teaching and learning, and student engagement, this project supports delivery of the Leadership Foundation’s strategy Catalysing Change.

The project runs from March to June 2017 and addresses the following research questions:

  • What are the benefits and challenges for individual programme leaders, their academic colleagues and supporting professional services departments of a bespoke, targeted development programme to support and develop academic programme leaders to meet the needs of their students and the institution?
  • How does the approach compare with a conventional non-directive, self-selecting personal and professional development programme for this staff group?

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