The essays included in Critical Administration in Higher Education offer a valuable window into the challenges of faculty moving into academic leadership positions, particularly for women and minoritized individuals. Department chairs, deans, faculty, and administrators alike will find this book to be an invaluable resource in the ongoing, everyday project of transforming academic climates to be more welcoming, accessible, and equitable.
Brower (Western Connecticut State Univ.) and Myers (Univ. of Toledo) have contributed to and edited this important resource for both faculty and staff leaders in institutions of higher education. Many university faculty do not begin their careers with leadership in mind but find themselves poised to move into these roles over time. Those committed to social justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity will want to take on the challenge of leadership with a critical cultural lens, which can be difficult at times to uphold given the realities of administrative leadership. This collection of narratives from faculty who have navigated the move to administration and done so with a critical perspective allows readers to learn from their experiences. Each author provides lessons about the positive and negative aspects of power, the difficulties of balancing the needs of colleagues with those of the administration and stakeholders, the limitations of influence when in liminal spaces, and the understanding that change takes place slowly. This book is an excellent introduction for those who wish to serve or find themselves serving as temporary or permanent leaders. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.