Directors of University teaching and learning centers : an examination of leadership challenges based on administrative policies and institutional culture
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This study focused on leaders of teaching and learning centers, typically faculty, who have developed a strong teaching and research portfolio, and are respected by their peers. The researcher conducted a mixed-methods study to understand how academic leaders of teaching and learning centers (the middle managers), could utilize Stewart's (1976) leadership theory of demands, constraints, and choices. Understanding the effect institutional culture and administrative policies can have on their leadership of a faculty TLC, will better inform them as to the challenges they face in performing and leading. Data acquisition was accomplished through a survey sent to the members of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network comprising leaders of TLCs, supervisors of the leaders, and faculty/staff members of the TLCs. The survey was created and administered using the Qualtrics Survey platform. The findings from this research has strong implications for these leaders as it is important for them to be mentored, trained, and guided to be competent within their TLC and educational institution. A weakness found in the findings was the absence of documentation in training for leaders of TLCs, how to address administrative policies and politics, and understanding the effect of institutional culture on their leadership.