Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Chairs, leadership development, polytechnic, systemic, higher education


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is centred on the Problem of Practice of the inadequate institutional supports for academic Chairs at Prairie Polytechnic (a pseudonym), a large public higher education institution in Western Canada. Chairs are pivotal for higher education institutions because they impact student, departmental, and institutional outcomes; however, the leadership development needs of Chairs are overlooked, and the limited training available for Chairs is primarily ad hoc, episodic, short-term, and self-guided. The objective of this OIP is to determine how Prairie Polytechnic can provide more effective systemic supports for Chairs. Postmodernism is used to explore the relationships between knowledge and positional power, and Critical Theory highlights the inequities Chairs face. Four potential solutions are explored and compared: increased release time from teaching, increased role clarity, Chair learning communities, and a Chair life cycle strategy. The Chair life cycle strategy is selected as the most feasible, efficacious, and ethical solution, and a change plan is detailed for how the strategy will be implemented at Prairie Polytechnic. The change plan is mapped to the stages of change from the ADKAR change model (awareness; desire; knowledge; ability; reinforcement) and guided by Adaptive Leadership behaviours. A communication plan identifies how collaborators will be engaged in the change process, and a monitoring and evaluation plan identifies how the change plan will be assessed. Successful implementation of the change plan will provide the systemic infrastructure needed to support academic leadership development at Prairie Polytechnic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.