Topic: Leadership skills

Stories from Australian academics in unit coordination roles that touch on the topic of leadership skills.

Let go and delegate

I commenced here as a sessional lecturer in music and after three years was offered unit coordination of the foundation units. Supportive senior people, including an ‘unofficial’ mentor helped with my transition but, although I had a clear understanding of … More…

Research is ‘front and centre’

I teach the first core law unit that students study as part of their course. Between 600 and 800 students enrol each semester. To deliver lectures I employ up to five full-time academics, and more than 10 sessional staff to … More…

Seek out the priceless moments

This software engineer coordinator would like to know the right thing to do in all situations but finds managing staff the toughest job of all, despite systems he puts in place. He knows there are no shortcuts but gains satisfaction from the positive outcomes he receives from the effort expended. More…

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Doing what is important

This experienced Unit Coordinator of architecture does little research but rather, focuses on nurturing this students’ creativity. He gets good feedback from his students so is left alone and can pretty much please him self. More…

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Exerting a positive influence

Exerting a positive influence on future doctors is very rewarding to this Unit Coordinator who regards himself as a leader. He views leadership as a role, not a position and something you are do rather than being assigned. More…

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Caring about outcomes

This Associate Dean improved his efficiency and developed lists of tasks and deadlines to reduce his stress and workload. He values his sessional staff and actively supports them. He works hard and sets an example for his team, with whom he is open in his approach. More…

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Bridging the university and profession gap

The role of coordinator in this pathology course is enormous and there is never enough time. The unit has multiple components and is difficult but the students love it because everything taught is placed in a clinical context. Organising and preparing well before classes start is helpful in coping. More…

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No-one dies here

As a clinician and leader in a previous role, this Unit Coordinator applies the skills learnt then to this role. She provides practical and useful advice. More…

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Lecturer by choice, not by chance

Initially, my university role involved teaching only, although I quickly found myself also managing other activities and staff.  Since starting here I have been well supported by my Head of School.  There are some boring administrative aspects to the role, … More…

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Giving heart and soul to students

This university was known as a teaching only institution until five years ago when the emphasis became more focussed on research.  This is good for me, because I love research in my subject area of applied mathematics, for which I … More…

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What sessional staff want

During my years as Unit Coordinator in the School of Nursing I employed and managed many sessional staff.  I explored and discovered that they seek validation of their professional knowledge, opportunities to develop professionally, and to connect with their profession … More…

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Consumed by the role

This Unit Coordinator and sub dean took an active interest in her university’s policies and became sought after for her expertise. She learnt from a good leader how to be one and grew in confidence and creativity. More…

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Leading others in the school

This Unit Coordinator describes her work with numerous part time, experienced teaching staff. She describes her successful strategies to ensure consistency across the teaching units. Her strategy to combine her teaching and research interests is also mentioned.
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Leading not managing

After many years this Unit Coordinator remains convinced that teaching is undervalued and unsupported in her university. Alone she introduced innovation into her units and sees herself as a leader in her discipline. More…

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Stepping up to unit coordination

This coordinator started out as a tutor and took over a unit when the coordinator left. She creatively changed things and made it her own which the students loved. She feels well supported and developed a sound pedagogical philosophy.
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Leading the unit coordinators

This Head of School has extensive coordination experience in the sciences and understands the role well. He demonstrates his value of the team and provides extra support for new coordinators and those with large classes. The enjoyment ‘edge’ of the job has been removed by weekend work needed to stay on top of his responsibilities. More…

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