Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


John Ekundayo


Tertiary education in West Africa presently is fading in value compared with the last two or three decades when graduates of universities in Nigeria and Ghana were highly rated by world ranked institutions in Europe and North America. In many West African tertiary institutions there are chronic and critical challenges impeding quality delivery of education to the citizens. Some of these lead to avoidable wastes in time, financial and human resources. In Nigeria for instance, there are many cases of students’ unrest leading to wanton and unwarranted destruction of properties and sometimes human lives. In addition, lecturers and non-academic employees in tertiary institutions compound the already endangered system by embarking on industrial strikes to press home their demands for better pay, conditions of service, less government interference, etc. Hence, in West Africa presently, huge amount of valuable resources are wasted in educational institutions of higher learning due primarily to human and systemic problems associated with bad leadership structure. Crippen (2005) argued that the way forward is a paradigm shifts in how educational leaders see themselves in the leadership process of higher institutions of learning (p. 2). Bennis and Goldsmith (1997) also argued that for transformation to occur, leaders must recognize the paradigm shift through which they view themselves. In this paper, the paradigm shift we propose is leadership in tertiary educational institutions as one meant to first serve the school community rather than leading it. Thus, advocating the servant-leadership model of leadership as originally propounded by Robert K. Greenleaf (1970/1991).


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