Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration: A Guide for Campus Leaders
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This book provides needed guidance and advice for how colleges and universities can reorganize to foster more collaborative work. In a time of declining resources, financial challenges, changing demographics, and staff overturn, institutions are looking for ways to maximize their resources and still be effective. This book is based on a study of campuses that have been successful in recreating their environments to support collaborative work.


Adrianna Kezar, associate professor for higher education at the University of Southern California, holds a Ph.D. (1996) and an M.A. (1992) in higher education administration from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (1989) from the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the faculty at USC in 2003. Kezar was formerly an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and George Washington University. Kezar was editor of the ASHE - ERIC Higher Education Report Series from 1996 to 2004. Previously, she was an administrative associate for the vice president for student affairs (1992 – 1995) and coordinator for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (1995 – 1996), both at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on change, leadership, public purposes of higher education, organizational theory, governance, access, and diversity and equity issues in higher education. She has published over seventy - fi ve articles and books and is featured in the major journals for higher education including The Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, and Journal of College Student Development . Her most recent book is Rethinking the “ L ” Word in Higher Education:

The Revolution of Research on Leadership (2006). In 2005, she had two new books published by Jossey - Bass, Higher Education for the Public Good and Creating Organizational Learning in HigherEducation, and a national report published by the American Council on Education, Leadership Strategies for Advancing Campus Diversity . She is currently working on a grant from the Lumina Foundation related to a federal fi nancial program called Individual Development Accounts. Kezar has participated actively in national service, including being on the editorial boards for The Journal of Higher Education,

The Journal of College Student Development, Change , and The ERIC Review and serving as a reviewer for eleven journals in and outside higher education. She has served on the AERA - Division J Council and Association for the Study of Higher Education Publication Committee and Dissertation of the Year Committee. Kezar also serves or has served as a board member for the American Association for Higher Education; Association of American Colleges and Universities ’ Peer Review and Knowledge Network; National TRIO Clearinghouse; and the American Council on Education ’ s CIRP Research Cooperative. She volunteers for several national organizations, including the HERS/Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, Pathways to College Network, and the Kellogg Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. She has received national awards for her editorial leadership of the ASHE - ERIC report series from ASHE, for developing a leadership development program for women in higher education from ACE, and for her commitment to service learning from the National Society for Experiential Learning.

Jaime Lester, assistant professor of higher education, George Mason University, holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. in higher education from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Lester also holds a dual B.A. from the University of Michigan in English and women ’ s studies. Prior to George Mason University, she was an assistant professor and co - director of the Research Center for Community College Inquiry in the Department of Leadership and Counseling at Old Dominion University from 2006 to 2008. Lester maintains an active research agenda that examines gender equity in higher education, retention and transfer of community college students, socialization of women and minority faculty, and leadership. She has published articles in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Community College Review, Journal of Higher Education, Liberal Education, National Women ’ s Studies Association Journal , and NEA: Thought & Action . She also has two forthcoming books on gendered perspectives in community colleges and family - friendly policies in higher education. Currently, she is completing a project on nonpositional leadership and change in higher education.

In addition to her research, Lester has participated as a reviewer for several academic journals inside and outside higher education, including the National Women ’ s Studies Association Journal, Community College Review, Journal About Women in Higher Education, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, and New Directions for Community Colleges. She also serves as a board member for the national association the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, who granted her an award for her dissertation work.


Preface: Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration.

The Authors.

Part One: Setting the Context for Moving Toward Collaboration: Understanding the Logic, Barriers, and Need to Reorganize.

1 The Collaborative Imperative.

2 The Challenges of Collaboration.

3 Taking Advantage of Collaboration: Synergizing Successful Practices.

Part Two: Strategies for Reorganizing Campuses.

4 Mission, Vision, and Educational Philosophy.

5 Values.

6 Social Networks.

7 Integrating Structures.

8 Rewards.

9 External Pressures.

10 Learning.

Part Three: Conclusion: Bringing the Strategies Together for Collective Action.

11 Developing a Collaborative Context: Toward a Developmental Process.

12 A Collective Responsibility: What Can Various Constituents Do to Support Collaboration on Campus?

Appendix A: Methodology.

Appendix B: Resource Guide.




“…Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration could not have been placed on my reading list at a better time. Any college leader facing economic decision-making challenges will find that regardless of their current circumstances and where they find themselves on the collaboration continuum, the book’s examples of four campuses with high levels of collaboration offer hope for all of us seeking to enhance student learning… Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration is thus a most timely of handbooks for change.

While the book is easy to read, the authors emphasize that the effort required for transformation to occur is daunting. Fortunately, Kezar and Lester offer an extraordinarily well-written, evidence-based lesson, replete with the hallmarks of success that will inspire anyone dedicated to student learning a substantive guide on how to deliver on the promise.”
NASPA Journal, 2009, Vol. 46, no. 3

“The authors reveal partnership possibilities, obstacles, and windfalls, and posit that genuine collaboration requires urgent action, new organizational structures, and the reallocation of campus resources. Their keen insights and practical advice are timely, given the economic uncertainty and dwindling resources that often breed competition instead of collaboration in American higher education.”
—Peter M. Magolda, (The Review of Higher Education)