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Higher Education Case Study: Weston University

1705 words - 7 pages

Weston University
Case Summary
The new president of Weston University, Dr. Diana Ball, took over in late 1995, succeeding Dr. Harold Powers. Dr. Powers led the prestigious private university for fifteen years from a human resource frame to tailor the organization to individuals (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 16). Moreover, during Dr. Power's tenure, the reputation of once-leading private university in the Midwest diminished. Dr. Power's reputation as a scholar gained him the presidency; however, his leadership abilities fell short in dealing with the faculty. Weston's board outlined the skills needed, which included both academic standing and business acumen, for their new president to restore Weston University's reputation and lead the college toward excellence. Dr. Ball became the first woman president and impressed the board in her first few months on the job.
Primary Problem
For over fifteen years at Weston University, Dr. Powers operated from a human resource view, providing the faculty with security and stable working conditions (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 16). As a result, the leader's authority is derived from making sure that the faculty's individual needs are the highest priority, rendering a servant leader as a pushover (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 56). The contrast of leadership styles is primary problem in this case. Dr. Power's longtime human resource frame to Dr. Ball's new structural frame following a set of rules governing performance that utilizes a hierarchy of offices (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 46).
Secondary Problem
The board's vision is to restore Weston's diminishing reputation and to hired Dr. Ball, a newcomer and the first woman president at Weston, who would achieve this goal (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 334). The newly hired president, arriving from outside the organization, formulated a plan to achieve that goal. The faculty is entrenched in their ways, and change causes ambiguity and uncertainty. Moreover, the faculty in the organization feel uncertain about the new concepts presented by Dr. Ball to the deans altering their salaries and evaluations (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 31). The proposed changes create competition and unrest among the faculty and will shatter the business-as-usual campus conduct and job security. The dean's and faculty are grasping at the symbolic frame, defending their beloved academic lifestyle (Bolman & Deal, 2013, p. 248). The secondary problem in this case is support from the deans of the incentive program that will restore Weston University prestigious reputation as set by the board and developed by the president.
The stakeholders involved are the board of Weston, new president, deans and faculty. The board's stake in the new president is by taking a risk on her ability to achieve the goal of rebuilding Weston's reputation. Next, Dr. Ball's confidence lies within the board, and rejecting her incentive program will endanger her leadership status. Dr. Ball's stakes are high using...

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