Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton
Chapter Four: Direction Through Authentic Leadership in Higher Education (Melvin (JAI) Jackson)
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Direction Through Authentic Leadership IN Higher Education
MELVIN (JAI) JACKSON
LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Leadership is recognized by many as the most important characteristic for bringing about inspired change and progress in higher education. Leadership is one of many traits that helps to stimulate growth, jumpstart transformation, and provide advocacy for the underrepresented and underserved populations in colleges and universities. Leaders are often times characterized in various ways depending on the university and its environment. However, a leader is not relegated to an official title nor the boundaries of an organizational chart. A leader is defined by their actions, vision, and their ability to inspire others regardless of one’s title or operational charge. Informal (or authentic) leaders in the United States higher education system provide unendorsed governance and contribute to the proliferation and success throughout colleges and universities. Within the culture of higher education, leaders are presented as figures that embody what it means to be a contributing member of that organization. An informal (or authentic) leader in higher education exists to advocate, to guide, and to build up those who recognize their leadership as not necessarily endorsed by traditional titles but, substantially valued for their contributions and positive influence.
Exploring informal leadership in higher education involves examining guidance and direction through various theoretical lenses. Higher education leadership can most commonly be envisioned through individual frames of support, governance, or advocacy. Though individuals...
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