Academic Leadership Journal


Kelli McBride


People often recognize leadership in the concrete, mostly by identifying an effective or ineffective leader, but they have a much more difficult time explaining leadership in the abstract – what qualities result in transformational and visionary leadership. Often this lack of understanding does not surface until a crisis or challenge arises in an organization, when a gap occurs between what is and what should be. Higher education faces such challenges, and it needs transformational leadership, especially concerning faculty resistance to technology (Buckley, 2002; Hagner, 2000; Moore, Fowler, & Watson, 2007; Scott, 2003). As many organizations see online learning as their chance to be globally competitive in a highly competitive environment, they require the leadership to help them identify needs, plan for the future, and transition to this new method of delivering courses (Clark & Gottfredson, 2008). Studies show, though, that faculty resistance to change, especially technological change, is high (Bonk, 2010; Madsen, 2008). This causes a gap, a crisis and challenge. Colleges must have a plan to create an environment where campus leaders do not ignore or leave behind those resistant to change but instead collaborate with different groups in an effort to meet student needs through the use of technology where appropriate. Part of this plan should include instructional designers who can help transform colleges into learning agile organizations.