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Education faculty present their model of collaborative leadership at conference

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Associate professors of education Kristine Servais, Maureen Kincaid and Nancy Keiser presented a paper about their collaborative leadership model that was inspired by the late Lora Tyson and has been successfully integrated into the College’s teacher education program. They presented their paper at the Association of Teacher Educators Conference in Chicago in February and submitted it for publication to the journal of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration. Over the past decade, the education department has evolved from the conventional leadership approach of a single chairperson to an innovative model of shared leadership roles, which includes a three-person team: a coordinator of graduate programs (Servais, photo top left), a department chairperson (Kincaid, photo right) and a coordinator of teacher education (Keiser, photo bottom). This distributive model was first implemented in fall 2005 as a means to address the emerging needs of the education department and increased student enrollment, faculty workload, state program requirements and other demands. The team has several goals:
  • To engage in a shared leadership model that involved all three members working to lead the department and result in greater productivity
  • To promote and nurture leadership roles from other members to increase shared commitment to department goals
  • To create a culture of compassion and caring in which department members are acknowledged and valued for their contributions.
Outcomes of this new shared team model have included more productive and participatory department meetings,  more collaborative student teaching orientation meetings, improved supervisor training, development of a student monitoring process, creation of the secondary education liaison committee and a team approach to program assessment. “Nice matters”—an expression coined by and lived out by Lora Tyson, associate professor of education—has become the mantra of the department and was pinnacle in helping the team create a collaborative and compassionate culture in the department.