Past Event details

Senior Leaders in Higher Education

Friday, 08 March 2019

The purpose of this seminar is to examine different dimensions of, and perspectives on, senior leadership in higher education. Although there has been a growing body of research relating to leadership and management in higher education (Beardsley, 2017; Bryman, 2007; Floyd and Fung, 2015 and Shattock, 2013) some of the distinctive institutional contexts of the senior leadership role within UK higher education have been neglected. In this seminar, we will draw on data from three research projects to explore the career trajectories, motivations, challenges and identities of heads of academic and professional departments in both research intensive and teaching focussed universities addressing a range of questions including: Why do people take up senior leadership roles? How do they manage different aspects of the work? What different approaches do they take to the role? How could institutions support senior leaders more effectively?  We will also explore the analogies and metaphors that participants in our projects used to describe their role, and the impact of gender, ethnicity and intersectional approaches to identity. During the session, the seminar presenters will seek to identify common themes and key issues related to senior leadership in higher education and to engage participants in an interactive discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing senior leadership in the higher education sector today.

Presenter Bios

Dr Jane Creaton, Reader in Higher Education, University of Portsmouth. Investigator on an institutional research project “Leading Academics: The role of heads of academic department” in a post-92 university.

Dr Claire Gordon, Head, LSE Teaching and Learning Centre: co-investigator on project with Dilly Fung “Playing in different keys: the changing role of the Head of Department in research intensive universities”

Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, University of Sussex and Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, Associate Professor of Education in the Centre for Higher Education Research & Scholarship at Imperial College London: co-investigators with Tina Yu Yang on SRHE-funded project Senior Professional Leaders in Higher Education: the role of prest:


Network: Academic Practice
Date(s): Friday, 08 March 2019
Times: 11:45 - 15:45
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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Event Files
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Common Themes and Issues
Dr Claire Gordon (LSE) (with Professor Dilly Fung (LSE/UCL)
Dr Jane Creaton, Reader in Higher Education, University of Portsmouth
Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, Professor Kelly Coate
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