Ensuring Sustainable Leadership for Quality Learning and Teaching

Year: 2008

Author: Bosanquet, Agnes, Cameron, Alison, Marshall, Stephen, Orrell, Janice

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Increasingly, universities are addressing environmental sustainability issues by modelling ecologically sound practices and supporting the integration of sustainability into the curriculum. It is not yet common, however, to examine human resource practices from a sustainable perspective. With greater than ever scrutiny of learning and teaching activities by internal and external stakeholders, ensuring the quality of learning and teaching means addressing issues of sustainable leadership. This paper, based on a study of academic leadership in relation to learning and teaching, argues that the current development and preparation of academic leaders of learning and teaching do not represent sustainable, or even good, practice. This paper examines the importance of sustainable leadership practices within universities and, in particular, proposes that there are potential benefits if institutions are more actively engaged in sustainable leadership practices around learning and teaching. Sustainable leadership practice includes recognising the need to plan for succession, and providing adequate developmental opportunities for those who are likely to become leaders of learning and teaching. This approach requires explicit articulation of the expectations held of leaders of learning and teaching, and making adequate provision for recognition and rewarding of those who take on such positions and meet the expectations. Without these steps it is difficult for institutions to assure the quality of learning and teaching into the future.