From Financial Captivity to Financial Freedom How UMKC is reinventing itself as a quantum university. First order of business - culture change.
It is irrational, at best, to repeat the same behavior but expect a different result. Individuals fall prey to this nonproductive pattern, and so do organizations, including universities. In 2000, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) realized that our old behavior no longer worked. We decided that we had to change – not incrementally, as most universities and organizations do, but dramatically – in order to achieve the results we desired.
The Reflective Practitioner Leading a Public University: Lessons Learned in Choosing the Possibility of Quantum Results rather than Incremental Improvement
For an institution to achieve dramatically improved (quantum) results, leadership principles that align with quantum theories of physics are required. Quantum theories embrace and celebrate a physical world (and organizations) that is unpredictable, holistic, relational and emergent. My experience suggests that if a leader wishes to make major (quantum) improvements in organizational performance, quantum leadership principles may be a requirement. Those principles can produce a culture in which people are authentically engaged and contribute their creativity.
Presidential Leadership for the Public Good Given the centrality of public good in the history of public higher education, the fact that we are writing a book on higher education for the public good may suggest that we, as leaders, have veered off track. It is my hope that a book on the subject may inspire others, just as it signals the end of doubt and confusion about what the 21st century demands of leaders in higher education. I believe a rekindling of higher educationís distinctive and honorable call is needed Ė a call that summons leaders to deliver a bold response. That response centers in a movement of transformation for public universities as we serve the public good in our communities, our states, this nation, and the world. Following is a short description of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and a list of ten leadership principles that, on reflection, have been central to my leadership in moving UMKC toward a focus on the public good.
Many Voices, One Future: Creating New Standards The Gold Line Future at UMKC
In 2000, when I became Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I was convinced that public research universities had to conduct a serious self examination of the standards to which they held themselves accountable, that that self examination had to be inclusive, accessing the wisdom of faculty, staff, students, and constituents; that the pedagogy of self-examination had to be creative dialogue, not solely intellectual debate, and that the results had to be new ways of measuring ourselves, new standards. I have dialogue about possibilities, emerging accomplishments that are greater in a quantum way than in the past, and new standards, new measures, to which we are holding ourselves accountable. That future has been termed the gold line future, as opposed to the blue line future of incremental change.
Lessons I Learned from the Search Process for University Presidents
Iíve learned that whenever a significant leadership opportunity is at hand, be it during the search process or after, certain principles must rule. I monitor, measure and discipline my leadership around five principles, which may help other candidates for top leadership on campus: On average and in my experience, women are more skilled at two of these five and men are more skilled at one; the other two are a toss up. So use your advantages and develop your weaknesses whatever they are.