How to Deal with Campus Crisis Can Be Different With Gender Line (Opinion)

Many studies, scholarships and advice are dedicated to crisis leadership. Even before the epidemic, you can find lots of articles, books, and webinars ranging from leaders’ volatile and unexpected emergencies – Hurricane Katrina, the September 11 and social and political campus protests to slow-burning crises, such as enrollment or exposure to campus scandals. .

One idea that clearly emerges in crisis leadership advice is the need to act quickly, setting aside collaborative leadership styles for decision-making. But as academic leaders know, quick action is not a traditional feature of academic decision-making. Furthermore, women-identified leaders know that quick decision-making is not a feature that is well-received when implemented by women. As women academic leaders working in times of crisis, we face significant challenges, and time is not on our side. (Throughout this section, I use “women” and “women” to discuss the biases and stereotypes applied along the male / female binary and the ones that accumulate for sisgender and transgender women. And for gender-incompatible people.)

While it is relatively stable on campus, strong academic leaders of all genders rely on shared governance principles. Faculty shared governance is most effective when its processes are well-established and widely understood. Faculty and administration alike share a clear understanding of which decisions are properly addressed through shared governance and which are not. Proposals are moved through a variety of representative bodies, with the goal of reaching a solution that may not be 100 percent unanimous but at least gets a majority approval and includes feedback along the way. Confidence is built through the repetition of those processes.

But when a crisis arises, immediate action is needed. The Harvard Business Review Advises leaders in managing a crisis to “make decisions faster than accuracy.” A March 2020 report published by McKinsey & Co. noted that in an unprecedented crisis, such as an epidemic, there was no opportunity to plan, yet “some moments of crisis call for immediate action.” Further, the authors describe the way that “in times of crisis, ruled by unfamiliarity and uncertainty, effective responses are essentially improved.” Improvement requires thinking on one’s feet, making quick decisions and implementing them with confidence.

Clearly, Crisis Leadership is opposed to the process of sharing governance, which by their nature is slow প্রয়োজন requiring their systematic, considered and repetitive work. Simply put, strong academic leadership takes time.

Some leadership styles incorporate fast-paced, action-oriented approaches এমনকি even out of crisis যা that can be effective in academic settings. But many women in leadership often rely on what researchers describe as “transformative leadership,” which is defined as inclusive and collaborative and bringing the team to the future. Transformation leaders advise their team members and model the behaviors they expect from those around them.

To be sure, this approach can be extremely successful, and in normal times, women often gain proficiency in academic settings, which demands inclusive leadership. But Alice H. As Eagle noted in her article “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Female Leadership: Conflict Resolution”, strong leaders do not display “consistent behavior” but adapt their style to the context and situation. During a crisis, Eagle wrote, “A leader who usually participates can be highly instructive because emergencies can demand quick, decision-making.”

When crisis leadership needs to be implemented in the academic setting, conflicts can occur. I hope that many academic leaders will feel a flash of recognition here, as many of us have faced vocal and emotional reactions to decisions over the past few years, when and where to move to distance learning, what our vaccination and masking policies will be. , How to respond to the financial realities arising from declining enrollment and much more. Many of these decisions provoked deeply polarized reactions. The decision to suspend private startups on our campus in 2020 and 2021, for example, still brings high praise from families concerned about safety, at the same time, deep resentment from students and parents who felt they had lost a central milestone on the educational tour.

Navigating such decisions has often felt like walking on a tightrope – with constantly uncertain, unknown consequences. This balanced work can further enhance for women in leadership. While many of the qualities associated with strong crisis leadership তা perseverance, confidence, and perseverance অত্যন্ত are highly valued and universally acclaimed by male leaders, yet those same qualities can lead to bias towards female leaders, as behavioral scientist Pragya Agarwal writes. Forbes In the article that levels are often unconscious and underlying, colleagues can react quite negatively to female leaders who display those same characteristics. In an epidemic-like crisis, all leaders are urged to change their leadership styles, and yet the response to these changes may vary across gender lines.

Venture capitalist Ben Horowitz’s well-known article titled “Peacetime CEO / Wartime CEO” provides some valuable insights from the corporate setting applicable here. Horowitz compares leadership traits that lead a company to success with prosperity and leadership behavior in relatively quiet times that lead a company through emergencies and challenges. In the end, he asks, referring GodfatherAn individual can be both a great “peacetime” leader And A “wartime” leader? Although most leaders are strong in one or the other, the answer is, yes, one person can be both good. Horowitz writes, “Mastering both wartime and peacetime skill sets means understanding many rules of management and knowing when to follow them and when to violate them.” Although Horowitz does not address gender differences here, it is reasonable to assume that the challenges of running successfully between the two modes are higher for women leaders.

Horowitz said most research on successful CEOs focuses only on “peacetime” leaders. Less understandable qualities that make a successful “wartime” leader. Within the academy, we would be well advised to evaluate how gender expectations affect our assessment of women leaders in times of crisis. Many campuses have received antibiotic training for faculty, staff and administration. How gender affects the reception of leadership styles – in quiet times and in turmoil – would be a fruitful addition to the curriculum of such training.

As we end our second full academic year in the global epidemic, many of us are optimistic that the fall semester of 2022 will be when we will be able to fully emerge from this time of crisis leadership. Academic leaders who have changed their leadership style will then return to the deliberate and inclusive approach to divided faculty governance. Women academic leaders in particular will face the need to reassure our communities and elements that the decision-making processes of the past few years were necessary in the context of the epidemic and that it was created in academia and campus communities should consider how gender bias may occur. Through the crisis of the last few years, women have played a role in fulfilling their expectations of us as leaders. When we get back to the best practice of shared governance, we will be able to make time for ourselves again.

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