Deans and chairs, like other leaders everywhere, often rely on narrow views of their organizations that capture only part of the real picture. As a result, they miss out on a rich array of options available to them. Peak Performance for Deans and Chairs molds deans and chairs into better leaders by teaching them a new way of thinking about their universities, colleges, and departments. Reframing is the ability to examine a situation through multiple lenses, which not only enhances understanding of challenges leaders face but also suggests strategies for moving forward. Entertaining and realistic scenarios show deans and chairs grappling with common problems as they attempt to implement change, manage the faculty, deal with budget cuts, and win over the "higher-ups." Some leaders are successful; others fail. This book analyzes the behavior of chairs and deans through the political, structural, human resources, and symbolic frames. Lessons learned from the negative as well as the positive scenarios are highlighted, enabling deans and chairs to easily adapt them to their own situations. The book is the result of a combined effort by a veteran university administrator with many years in the roles of dean and chair and by an internationally known expert on leadership. Together they have produced a rare volume that is as strong in its practical application as it is in its theoretical foundation. The fact that it is also engaging and a fast read should put it on the top of deans' and chairs' must-read lists.
Susan Stavert Roper served in the roles of both dean and department chair for 19 years in California and Oregon. She taught in an annual leadership academy for new deans across the country, served as chair of her state's association of education deans, and organized a network of chairs and deans to support educational reform K-16. Terrence Deal is the author of more than 30 books on leadership including, Reframing Organizations (2003). He has served on the faculty of Stanford, Harvard, Vanderbilt and the University of Southern California and is an international consultant to educational, business, health-care and religious organizations.