“I could run this place better!”  We’ve all said it about something, from our workplace to our car repair shop to our cable company.  But, well, what if you really could?  What if you not only see problems with how your department or institution is run, but you think you know—or are willing to learn—how to fix them?  What if you have great ideas for helping your department or institution succeed?

Check out these resources on positioning yourself for leadership:

The Academic Dean – So, uh…what does a dean do, anyway? See also the entry for Chief Academic Officer (aka Provost) and this guide to titles and jobs in university admin.

Twelve Tips for Department Chairs – From essential phrases to know to how to get organized.

10 Suggestions for a New Department Chair – Thinking like a farmer, inflammatory responses, and more.

Should I Be The Next Chair? – What are the responsibilities, what could you lose, and how can it help you? These are some things you should ask first.

Admin 101 – By the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s venerable David Perlmutter, a dean at Texas Tech.  This is a great series that takes you from deciding whether you have the skills and the interest to lead through tips for the job hunt and interviewing for positions.

How Do I Become an Administrator? – Another Chronicle package, this one features essays from a variety of contributors on why and how to become part of the administration.

So You Want to Be a Dean – You’d better be skilled at strategic thinking, risk management, and compromise.

Ask the Administrator: What Skill Sets Do Deans Need? – Patience, empathy, and boundaries are some.  By Inside Higher Ed’s ever-popular “Dean Dad,” Matt Reed.

Becoming a Dean – Further advice on what you need as an administrator, from a former dean and vice president for academic affairs.

On Being a Provost: Four Simple Truths About a Complex Role – Daniel Julius has been a provost at small and large institutions around the country. Rule number three, which includes tips for managing just about any interaction, is actually pretty applicable to everyone who works with other human beings.

The Education of a Provost – Thoughtful reflections on lessons learned from years of being a provost, as well as strengths that will help you do the job.

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