Professors as Academic Leaders; Expectations, Enacted Professionalism and Evolving Roles
Professors as Academic Leaders; Expectations, Enacted Professionalism and Evolving RolesProfessors as Academic Leaders
Expectations, Enacted Professionalism and Evolving Roles
By: Linda Evans
What is the role of a professor? How does someone achieve professorial status? What do non-professorial colleagues think about professors? How do professors themselves perceive their roles? What are the bases of these perceptions, and what are their implications for the professoriate’s evolving role both within the neoliberal university, and in the approaching post-neoliberal era?
Professors as Academic Leaders draws on a wealth of data not only to explore what it is to be a professor but also to consider how professors are perceived by others. Linda Evans presents the findings from four studies, with a combined data base of over 2,400 questionnaire responses and over 90 interview transcripts, and discusses their implications for the future development of the UK-based professoriate and academic leadership in higher education. She analyses the concepts of leadership and of professionalism, and illustrates how, in trying to meet people’s expectations of them, professors’ ‘enacted’, professionalism is shaped by the professionalism that others demand of them. Professorship is revealed to be demanding, at times stressful and morale-sapping, and at times exhilarating and rewarding. Linda Evans questions whether universities are making best use of their most senior academics, and proposes ways of refashioning professorship.