Examining the Role of Leadership in an Undergraduate Biology Institutional Reform Initiative
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Citation of Original Publication
Matz, R. L., & Jardeleza, S. E. (2016). Examining the Role of Leadership in an Undergraduate Biology Institutional Reform Initiative. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(4), ar57.
Undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education reform continues to be a national priority. We studied a reform process in undergraduate biology at a research-intensive university to explore what leadership issues arose in implementation of the initiative when characterized with a descriptive case study method. The data were drawn from transcripts of meetings that occurred over the first 2 years of the reform process. Two literature-based models of change were used as lenses through which to view the data. We find that easing the burden of an undergraduate education reform initiative on faculty through articulating clear outcomes, developing shared vision across stakeholders on how to achieve those outcomes, providing appropriate reward systems, and ensuring faculty have ample opportunity to influence the initiative all appear to increase the success of reform. The two literature-based models were assessed, and an extended model of change is presented that moves from change in STEM instructional strategies to STEM organizational change strategies. These lessons may be transferable to other institutions engaging in education reform.