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The 3rd International Conference on Professional Doctorates

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1 The 3rd International Conference on Professional Doctorates
Developing and Sustaining Effective Doctoral Leadership: building a doctoral learning culture Dr Val Poultney University of Derby

2 Aims of this workshop: To broaden and deepen our understanding of the nature of doctoral academic leadership; To refine and improve a proposed model of doctoral leadership; To understand how academic leaders of doctoral programmes shape and define a doctoral culture.

3 Leadership Theory Cultural & Symbolic Theories
Trait Theory: linked to personal qualities of the leader Behavioural Theory: the leader’s behaviour and leadership style Contingency Theory: leader’s understanding of how to behave in different contexts Power and Influence Theory: the capacity to influence the thinking and behaviour of others

4 Research Methodology Academics were identified who had experience of academic leadership; particularly those currently heading up professional doctoral programmes. They were asked to write a short autobiographical narrative about their experiences; There were 6 guiding questions given based on: Leader or manager Leadership style Challenges faced as leader Sustaining and developing doctoral culture Support for the leadership role Impact of effective leadership on the programme

5 Findings Academic Leader Concern for academic others
Concern for university issues Concern for academic tasks Concern for students

6 What is your leadership style?
How would you describe your style of leadership? take some time to reflect/discuss with others Findings show that leaders of doctoral programmes have the following attributes: Dialogical, encouraging, motivators, engender confidence, develop discourse based on problem-solving and critical thinking, mentor, coach, facilitator, champion, manager (of tasks), consensus builder, change agent, consulter (with other staff), proactive, approachable What attributes would you add?

7 “I sit in the middle of the table, not at the head”
Leadership Style “Autocratic or ‘top-down’ leadership or management styles are generally ineffective when heading up a team of academics, thus the ability to work collaboratively and to influence a team of individuals over whom you have no control is a vital skill” “I sit in the middle of the table, not at the head”

8 How does effective leadership make a doctoral programme successful?
What do effective leaders need to do in order to make programmes a success? Take a few minutes to consider this question, either individually or with a colleague Findings show the following: Academic leaders set high expectations around: Management: robust admissions processes, effective communication with team/programme participants, flexible schedules Programme Leadership: provide academic challenge and relevancy of research to participants, a strong, dedicated supervisory team, successful completions, a conceptual framework which underpins the delivery of the programme, enthusiasm as a programme leader, practice-focused role model. Faculty/University Leadership: reasonable fee level, engender support from wider university context.

9 What are the challenges facing leaders?
Data was plentiful and centred around: Sustaining collaborative partnerships Lack of administrative support Time related: to supervise effectively, write, publish, apply for bids No models of practice to cope with increasing numbers on programme ‘Bridging and brokering’ role of leader with team, faculty and wider university: facilitating understanding of doctoral requirements at faculty/wider level Parity with existing PhD programmes Helping students with issues related to fees and keeping programme sustainable Making difficult decisions related to management of programme, team, supervision Keeping abreast of technological advances which may assist with flexible delivery of programme Conceptualisation of scholarship in a practice degree

10 Engendering and developing a culture of research
“Enhancing the research/scholarship of our students and faculty became the key. This and the focus on the advising relationship are probably the two elements that best enabled us to start shaping our doctoral culture"

11 Rich and highly interactive learning environment
Leaders setting and managing doctoral culture Matters related to research and practice Matters related to issues of teaching and learning Rich and highly interactive learning environment Developing cohort cohesiveness Matters related to organisation of the programme Ensuring programme is valued by students, staff and Faculty

12 Support and Ways Forward
1.Understand your style of leadership, know your role and how it fits with wider context. Assess who might support you. 2. Communicate your vision for programme, prioritise needs of students with what is achievable within your institution. Take calculated risks, stir others into action, be reflective 3. Communicate information, bridge and broker between team/school/faculty/university/external sector. Aim for stability of programme while assessing the need to change.

13 Thanks for listening: any questions?

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