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ࡱ>  ubjbj 3hhLt]40DFFFFFF$1 6jQjBDD+D*00 ! ! !tjj ! : TEMBILE KULATI FROM PROTEST TO CHALLENGE: LEADERSHIP AND HIGHER EDUCATION CHANGE IN SOUTH AFRICA ABSTRACT. The paper explores the emerging, and different, approaches to leadership in higher education, especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at South African higher education institutions. These issues are examined within the context of the changes that followed the promulgation of the new higher education policy framework, as well as the emerging challenges of globalisation. The focus of the analysis is on the changing role of leadership in higher education, with a specific emphasis on the role of Vice-Chancellors in institutional transformation. INTRODUCTION One of the central themes within the debates on the transformation of higher education is South Africa has been on how institutions should translate the broad policy guidelines that underpin the post- apartheid governments legislative framework (namely the White Paper on Higher Education Transformation, and the Higher Education Act of 1997) into a programmatic strategy for institutional transformation. The nature of the debate prior to the promulgation of the new higher education legislation focused on issues relating to structural reform and, to a lesser extent, on the substantive challenge of participatory decisionmaking. There was hardly any discussion on how higher education institutions once transformed at the level of representation in governance structures ought to be organised and managed, and what role institutional leadership could play in the unfolding transformation processes. The paper departs from an understanding that the concept of leadership in higher education institutions encompasses more than just the activities of those in executive management, and in particular the office of the vice-chancellor; the discussion will nonetheless focus primarily on the changing role of vice chancellors in the context of higher education institutional transformation. This choice is, in part, informed by the observation that the leadership role of the vice-chancellor has changed in fundamental respects since 1994, partly as a result of the demands and challenges that flow from the new legislative framework that was introduced by the new black majority government under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Secondly, in line with international developments, vice chancellors have increasingly been playing a much more influential role in institutional change, and in defining and shaping the culture and mission of their institutions (Smith et al. 1999). The purpose of this paper is thus to explore and interrogate some of the emerging, and different, approaches to higher education leadership, and especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at South African higher education institutions. This paper covers three related areas. The first section looks at how the legislative framework has been shaped by, and thus reflects, the governance concerns prior to the promulgation of the new legislation on higher education. This is followed by a section that provides an assessment of the extent to which institutions have grappled with the challenges relating to the transformation of institutional governance. The final section explores the emerging, and different, approaches to leadership at South African higher education institutions, and especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at the various institutions. THE NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK AND GOVERNANCE TRANSFORMATION The White Paper on Higher Education Transformation and the Higher Education Act, which were both promulgated in 1997, introduced a new governance framework based on the principle of cooperative governance. Cooperative governance departs from the premise that no single stakeholder, be it management, academic staff or students, can take sole responsibility for determining an institutions transformation agenda. The White Paper further states that in order for cooperative governance to work, higher education institutions must create structures and conditions that will enable differences between stakeholders to be negotiated in participative and transparent ways. The new legislation stipulates the main governance structures to be the Council, the Senate and the Institutional Forum. The Council is the supreme governing body in public higher education institutions, and is responsible for ensuring good governance within an institution. The Senate is the highest decision-making body in relation to academic matters, and is accountable to Council. Institutional Forums are new structures that have been set up to broaden participation in institutional governance. Forums are meant to act as shock absorbers to the transformation process by providing an arena for issues that pertain to the broad transformation agenda of the institution to be openly debated and discussed. They have also been established to advise Councils on a number of issues, including the mediation of conflicts among campus stakeholders, and in making an input into the process of appointing senior executive management of the institution. There seems to be general agreement among stakeholders that the primary objective of the legislative framework, namely the establishment of representative governance structures, has been accomplished at most institutions.1 However, with regard to the second objective of cooperative governance, namely that of ensuring that decision-making is participatory and transparent, the evidence is uneven. In many institutions, the new governance structures have played a leading role in many key transformation processes and decisions, most notably the appointment of vice-chancellors and other senior managers of the institution, whilst in others they have actually undermined transformation processes. Notwithstanding the reforms that have been achieved at the level of the representation of stakeholders within governance structures, there is not much evidence to demonstrate that the introduction of new stakeholders in institutional governance has radically transformed the internal functioning of these structures. It is already apparent that a number of stakeholder representatives do not have a clear idea of what their role is within these new governance structures, and have consequently not been able to play a meaningful role in the deliberations of Councils or Institutional Forums. This is corroborated by a recent research report on Institutional Forums that has found a general lack of focus, impetus and vibrancy in Institutional Forums . . . [and that] in many instances, it would seem that the Forums have lost the transformation agenda (Harper et al. 2002). THE CHALLENGE OF INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE Changes in the relationship between the state, society, and higher education institutions, coupled with the new legislative framework, have transformed the nature of leadership in South African higher education institutions. There has been a marked shift in the governance and management of higher education institutions, from a system whose institutions were largely managed through administrative fiat, to one that is characterised by more managerial and entrepreneurial approaches to leadership (Kulati 2000). The emphasis on institutional effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness within the new higher education dispensation has propelled the role of leadership and in particular that of the vice-chancellor, on to the centre stage of institutional change agendas. In addition, the demand for publicly funded institutions to be more accountable has seen many institutional leaders beginning to play a more pivotal role in the governance and management of their institutions. This demand overload, as Cloete and Bunting (1999) have referred to it, has elicited different responses from those in leadership positions at South African higher education institutions. The new legislative framework, as well as the broader challenge of globalisation, has put enormous pressure on institutions to devise new ways of managing what have become more diverse and very complex institutions. Within the space of five years, South African higher education institutions have been confronted with many challenges, including the need: " to diversify their income streams while doing more, and different, things, with increasingly less reliance on the fiscus; " to reconfigure their institutional missions, and the traditional way in which they have produced, packaged and disseminated their primary product, knowledge, in order to meet the challenges of a diverse student population, as well as an increasingly technologically oriented, and globalising, economy; and " to forge new kinds of relationships with other knowledge producers within and outside higher education, especially in industry and the private sector. (Kulati 2000) As to be expected, the manner in which institutions have responded to these challenges is very much a function of the apartheid legacy that has affected them in different ways. How institutions were governed and managed largely mirrored their role and relationship vis a vis the apartheid state. For example, the Afrikaans-medium institutions were generally supportive of the policies of previous apartheid regime, whilst appointees of the apartheid state were in charge at the historically black universities. Consequently, these institutions were characterised by highly centralised and autocratic management styles and practices. On the other hand, many of the English speaking universities who were largely opposed to the then governments apartheid policy had a much stronger collegial tradition, where the culture of decision-making was more participative. Most of the vice-chancellors that were interviewed have acknowledged that their approach to leadership within their institutions has been conditioned by this past. What follows is an attempt to categorise the different leadership responses to the challenges of transformation into broad categories of leadership approaches to institutional change. These typologies have taken as their point of departure the classification of institutional governance and management developed by Cloete and Bunting (1999). As it is usually the case with all classifications, the reality on the ground is much messier than the neat parameters that the typologies may seek to convey. In addition, the typologies that are developed below are only illustrative, with some of the overlap across categories having been deliberately de-emphasised, in order to accentuate the distinguishing features between the different approaches to leadership. It is also important to signal that as the following classification of leadership approaches is very much a product of a complex coalescence of the history and culture of the institution, the politics of the institutions internal governance dynamics, and the personality and style of those in leadership, no attempt has been made to make judgements as to which approach is the most appropriate for South African higher education institutions. Transformative leadership The institutional context. The institutions that display this approach to leadership are characterised by an orderly and gradual transformation project, with a steady growth in student enrolments. The institutions also have a good academic reputation both nationally and internationally. The broader institutional governance environment is underpinned by fairly stable governance dynamics, with generally a good relationship between institutional management and the internal stakeholders. There is also a clear role distinction between the governing body (Council) and the executive management of the institution, with the Senate also playing a strong role in defining the transformation agenda of the institution. The institution is also characterised by a good working relationship between the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor. Co-operative governance is not seen to be in tension with the need for top management to provide leadership. The transformation agenda. The reference point for the transformation agenda in these institutions is the governments legislative framework, and the central focus of the change agenda is the inculcation of a new value framework that will bind institutional stakeholders to a common vision. The transformation agenda is driven by an expanded leadership layer (which usually includes the executive Deans), which has developed a conscious strategy to popularise the new vision throughout the institution. This is achieved through developing, as Cloete and Bunting (1999) have put it, a shared transformation discourse, which is predicated on a new institutional culture that is based on a common set of values. The transformation strategy The transformation strategy in these institutions is focused on developing a common vision, and of getting the institutional stakeholders to buy into the new vision. The transformation project is underpinned by an emergent culture of strategic planning, accompanied by a cautious introduction of the new public management approaches. Leadership is about developing a new institutional culture based on a common set of values. As one vice-chancellor put it, the challenge facing him is to: shake the institution out of its complacency at being the best technikon (polytechnic) and therefore not needing to change much; in other words, to get staff to realise it is not business as usual . . . and to get [the] institution to realise that the value framework that it [once] cherished cannot be sustained What seems to be emerging from the current research, and from observing developments over the past five years are two variants of transformative leadership approaches; the first is what we refer to as the transformed collegialists, and the second are the transformative managerialists. Transformative collegialists This strand of transformative leadership is to be found primarily in the historically white, English speaking, universities, which have had a tradition of collegial governance. Although transformed collegialists share the view that universities have to move with the times, and that issues such as efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and accountability have to be embraced by higher education institutions, the approach to change starts from the premise that at the centre of the transformation project lies an intellectual agenda (in relation to the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and in research) that is non-negotiable. Thus part of the transformation agenda is to reclaim and reassert the centrality of the intellectual traditions of higher education institutions, especially the university. The institutional change strategy of the collegialists is to be sensitive to, and to work within, the confines and limits of the prevailing institutional culture, rather than going to war against it (Birnbaum 1992). This would be achieved through gradually remoulding the institution such that it is better able to respond and adapt to the new demands that it faces, while cherishing the central tenets of the academic tradition of the university, namely the pursuit of truth, disinterested enquiry, etc. In other words, the leadership challenge is about facilitating academic excellence through supporting, managing, nurturing and inspiring ones academic colleagues. Collegialists would concur with Ramsden (1998, p. 13) that deep at the heart of effective leadership is an understanding of how academics work. Although the institution utilises modern management approaches and techniques in order to re-energise the institution, there is an abiding conviction in the integrity of the collegial culture of the university. Collegialists feel vindicated by moves within the corporate sector towards post bureaucratic forms of organisation, where flat management structures and team-based decision making approaches are becoming vogue. Transformative managerialists This approach to leadership is characteristic of the historically Afrikaans institutions that have managed to transform themselves in a relatively short period. The leadership challenge is to transform the governance culture of the institution, from a historically authoritarian to a democratic one. Usually the institutional management suffers from a (political) legitimacy problem whether perceived or real either with their internal or external stakeholders, who feel that the association of the institution with the previous apartheid regime weighs heavily on its legacy. The transformation agenda is centrally driven and managed by a small leadership core. The more strategic of the transformative managerialists have used the space created by white guilt to move very quickly and introduce transformation initiatives at various levels of the institution, for example the recruitment of blacks and women into senior management positions, and the transformation of student enrolment demographics in a relatively short time. Those in leadership however also lament the absence of a culture of rigorous intellectual debate on issues that are of concern to the institution. Heres what one vice-chancellor had to say: Ive always when I met with faculties in strategic planning sessions been disappointed with the [low] level of engagement. Theres a wide, wide, gap between the level at which we work at executive management, and the next the level at which we discuss issues with the professors and senior lecturers in the faculties. Even in Council, I was quite amazed as to how easy they surrendered to good, solid arguments. I was a bit concerned about the fact that there [were not any] deep, penetrating debates. Perhaps the people were feeling a little helpless in the New South Africa and [had] to put a lot of faith in management. Of course there were debates, but none of the central tenets of transformation were ever seriously challenged. Were a strange [institution]. We move so quickly and we make a lot of changes very quickly, and were very adaptable, and yet we lack a culture of serious high-level intellectual debate. As management, we need to be challenged by more people. There [are] never those serious challenges, which I feel would have contributed to an even more reflective transformation process. In that sense, our institution still lacks genuine scholars, although we have capable academics and good researchers On the other hand, these institutional leaders are also aware that some of their traditional constituency, especially the white academics, feel threatened and insecure by the imminent and necessary changes; therefore the broader management strategy is also to get these marginalised groups to buy into the new vision, and to constantly reassure them that they form part of the new vision of the institution. Managerial leadership The institutional context. Typically, this leadership approach is to be found within the majority of the technikons, as well as the more (managerially) aggressive historically Afrikaans universities. These institutions gauge their reputation in relation to their performance in the market, which is defined broadly as the consumers of higher education products, be it the private sector, the international development agencies, and the parastatal research councils. Many of these institutions have developed strong links with industry and the international donor community, and use aggressive marketing and recruitment strategies and the latest management procedures and techniques in order to enhance their market profile. The transformation agenda Within this category, the leadership challenge is to reconfigure the institution to become more competitive and market oriented through the vigorous adaptation of corporate management principles and techniques to the higher education setting. The leadership challenge is about driving change and getting the institution to focus on its core business, through the disposal and outsourcing of unproductive assets or organisational activities that are deemed to be peripheral, and introducing efficiency improvements that would enable the executive management to run the enterprise along sound business principles. The transformation strategy The change agenda in these institutions is very much driven by a strong, decisive, centre (usually located in the office of the vice-chancellor), which is buttressed by sophisticated management support systems and structures and is run by a highly competent middle management layer. Because the transformation challenge is for the institution to be run along business lines, the vice-chancellor usually leads from the front, and tends to be regarded more like the CEO of a business enterprise. The leadership style is characterised by a rapid response management ethos; where others talk in terms of threats and survival in the face of globalisation and fierce competition from the emerging private higher education sector, the buzz in these institutions is about niche spotting and developing partnerships. We have delineated two further sub-categories within the broader classification of managerial leadership, namely the strategic managerialists and the unmitigated entrepreneurs. These sub-categories are derived from the distinction that Trow (1994) has made between the soft and hard approaches to managerialism. According to Trow, the soft managerialists, although applying management techniques in order to run their institutions more efficiently and effectively, nonetheless regard higher education institutions as distinct from businesses, and governed by their own norms and traditions. This is in contrast to the hard approach to managerialism, where institutional management has: resolved to reshape and redirect the activities of [their institutions] through funding formulas and other mechanisms of accountability [that are] imposed from outside the academic community management mechanisms created, and largely shaped, for application to large commercial enterprises. (Trow 1994, p. 12) We now turn to a discussion of these sub-categories. Strategic managerialists The leadership challenge for strategic managerialists is to get the institution to think and act more strategically, and to convince the academics that being managed, and working in an institution that is run on sound management principles, does not constitute a threat to the traditional values of academe, such as academic freedom. Many of these institutional leaders have a keen sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the institution having at their disposal access to high level strategic management skills and management information systems and an ability to formulate strategic responses to a rapidly changing policy and market environment. The change strategy is premised on striking a balance between the objectives of becoming a top-class, internationally competitive, institution, with the need to be responsive and relevant to national needs. The approach to leadership, although decisive, is tempered with a consultative approach. In the words of one vice-chancellor: You work with consensus bodies like Senate, Councils and so forth, which you dont appoint. The [organisation] is not ruled by one single thing that is measurable, be it profit per investment or profit per share or that sort of thing, which is what the board of a company would like to see. Were governed by the public good, which is different for every different stakeholder. So in the end, you [as a vice-chancellor] have to satisfy lots of people, lots of stakeholders without any clear set of criteria, which makes our task very, very difficult. To the strategic managerialists, being an academically first-rate institution, with a good understanding of business principles, ought not to be a contradiction in terms. As another vice-chancellor put it: the vice-chancellor has to be an academic with a business sense. It also depends on what type of institution youre aspiring to be: for a research/comprehensive university, you must have a strong research background; if you dont have it you cant run Senate. And if you cant run Senate, youre dead. For strategic managerialists, globalisation and the market are not viewed as threats, but as opportunities to be exploited, in order to enable the institution to be more internationally competitive. Consequently, the managerialists have been more successful in exploiting the fairly loose legislative framework to their institutions advantage, having established strong relationships with international funders, developed partnerships with the private sector and parastatal research agencies, recruited top academics from abroad, and built strong links with universities in Africa. Unmitigated entrepreneurs Within this model the higher education institution is seen as being a business, as opposed to being run like a business. Institutions are thus in the business of providing their clients the students with goods and services that are sold at a competitive price. These institutions (primarily technikons) have very strong and close links with industry, and generally lack a collegial tradition. The challenge of transformation is seen as the gearing up of the institution such that it is responsive to the rapidly changing customer needs and expectations. The terminology of post-fordism is much in vogue, with frequent reference to flexible specialisation, just-in-time systems, total quality management, and transaction costs and benefits. The leadership approach is characterised by a very gung-ho, and unquestioning, application of private sector management procedures and techniques. The executive management, whose central concern is to ensure that the institution is run efficiently, leads from the front, and is in charge of the transformation process. The institutional strategy for change is underpinned by a very instrumentalist view of education, whose primary function is seen as that of preparing young people for productive employment. In the words of one vice-chancellor who is a main proponent of this approach: I think that the days are past where we see ourselves as educational institutions only. We must see ourselves as major players in stimulating the economy of South Africa, and thats our main purpose. We are not an educational institution first of all. We are an institution to serve the country and get the economy going, and its only high-level manpower that can really do this. The governments regulatory framework, which is regarded as an inconvenience, is seen as not having an appreciation of the demands and challenges facing modern higher education institutions. Government is seen not to be generally supportive of institutional leadership, and policies such as cooperative governance are regarded as a necessary nuisance. Crisis leadership This is more of an institutional condition than an approach to leadership. These institutions are characterised by endemic conflict and split loyalties, with fractious stakeholder, local and ethnic politics holding sway. It is usually the powerful stakeholder interests who are defining the transformation agenda of the institution, which is limited to, or defined narrowly as, the ideological dimension of governance transformation. In other words, much of the transformation process has been geared towards ridding the institution of its apartheid imprints, either within its governance structures or in its management ethos. The leadership approach is characterised by crisis management and decision avoidance, and the lack of institutional cohesion makes it difficult for leaders to steer, let alone drive, change. Institutional leaders thus have less substantive authority than in the first two models. The institution has a very weak, if effective, second-tier management layer, and there is also a lack of trust between the key stakeholder groups and institutional management. Consequently, the decision-making processes within these institutions are protracted and highly politicised, and are frequently never conclusive. Even after agreements have been reached, the commitment by stakeholders to these decisions can never be guaranteed. The institutions are, as one vice-chancellor has put it, characterised by: an activist tradition, but an activist tradition that has not developed the same rigour intellectually as it had at the University of the Western Cape2 . . . [T]here was a tendency therefore to simply push the transformation agenda on the basis of the momentum of the political struggle, rather than to turn that momentum into an intellectual project. In other words, the institution didnt have an intellectual approach [to transformation], it had a political one, and that political project lacked a core intellectual substance In many of these institutions, the transformed governance structures and in particular the Institutional Forum have played a leading role in many of the key institutional processes and decisions, most notably the appointment of vice-chancellors and other senior managers in these institutions. However, many of these institutions are characterised by role confusion with regard to the responsibility and scope of governance structures, with students usually challenging the role of Councils as the primary governance body, and seeking instead to establish Institutional Forums as alternative structures of governance authority. This is particularly the case in institutions where Councils have tended not to assert their role in institutional governance. In some extreme cases there is very little role distinction between the Council and management, with the Council either being completely ineffectual, or micromanaging the institution. The relationship between the Chair of Council and the vice-chancellor has all but collapsed, or is at best non-existent in these institutions. In addition, Senate does not play a significant role in formulating the transformation agenda of the institution, and is preoccupied with fairly narrow academic issues. CONCLUSION This paper has argued that much of the emphasis of governance transformation initiatives prior to, and following, the promulgation of the legislative framework has focused on the structural and equity dimension of transformation, without a conscious consideration of what would underpin a progressive approach to institutional leadership and management. This oversight is also reflected in the silence within the legislation on the role of leadership in institutional change. It has also been argued that the exclusive reliance on governance transformation at the structural level, and on the political dividend of stakeholder participation as the main drivers of institutional transformation, has proven to be ineffective. The role that leadership can play in shaping institutional change is emerging as a central concern for institutional managers as well as policy makers. The paper has also discussed how the nature of the higher education enterprise that of ambiguous and multiple goals, combined with a collegial value-framework co-exists uncomfortably alongside the mantra of managerialism. However, the choice, it seems, is not simply between being collegial or managerial, but is to be found somewhere in between these two ideal types. In other words, transformative leadership is about devising strategies that will facilitate effective institutional leadership and management in the context of a professional culture that eschews being managed (Ramsden 1998). Another issue is that of institutional management capacity a sine qua non for effective leadership which has generally distinguished the institutions that are characterised by stability and a progressive transformation agenda from those that have foundered and are in a state of endemic crisis. This has been accompanied by a marked shift within the government reform strategy, from one that has been premised on the make-ability of society using the moral authority enjoyed by the new democratic government, to one that recognises the centrality of management and leadership capacity to the process of institutional transformation. Finally, the paper has, albeit obliquely, raised the agency versus structure tension, or personality versus environment fit challenge. In other words, to what extent is agency which is a function of the personality traits, competencies, and value-framework of the institutional leader a critical determinant of the success of vice-chancellors in these challenging times? Or does the historical context of institutions place a heavy burden on their fate such that leadership interventions, or the actions of vice chancellors, are mere prisoners to it? NOTES 1. 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ࡱ>  ubjbj 3hhLt]40DFFFFFF$1 6jQjBDD+D*00 ! ! !tjj ! : TEMBILE KULATI FROM PROTEST TO CHALLENGE: LEADERSHIP AND HIGHER EDUCATION CHANGE IN SOUTH AFRICA ABSTRACT. The paper explores the emerging, and different, approaches to leadership in higher education, especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at South African higher education institutions. These issues are examined within the context of the changes that followed the promulgation of the new higher education policy framework, as well as the emerging challenges of globalisation. The focus of the analysis is on the changing role of leadership in higher education, with a specific emphasis on the role of Vice-Chancellors in institutional transformation. INTRODUCTION One of the central themes within the debates on the transformation of higher education is South Africa has been on how institutions should translate the broad policy guidelines that underpin the post- apartheid governments legislative framework (namely the White Paper on Higher Education Transformation, and the Higher Education Act of 1997) into a programmatic strategy for institutional transformation. The nature of the debate prior to the promulgation of the new higher education legislation focused on issues relating to structural reform and, to a lesser extent, on the substantive challenge of participatory decisionmaking. There was hardly any discussion on how higher education institutions once transformed at the level of representation in governance structures ought to be organised and managed, and what role institutional leadership could play in the unfolding transformation processes. The paper departs from an understanding that the concept of leadership in higher education institutions encompasses more than just the activities of those in executive management, and in particular the office of the vice-chancellor; the discussion will nonetheless focus primarily on the changing role of vice chancellors in the context of higher education institutional transformation. This choice is, in part, informed by the observation that the leadership role of the vice-chancellor has changed in fundamental respects since 1994, partly as a result of the demands and challenges that flow from the new legislative framework that was introduced by the new black majority government under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Secondly, in line with international developments, vice chancellors have increasingly been playing a much more influential role in institutional change, and in defining and shaping the culture and mission of their institutions (Smith et al. 1999). The purpose of this paper is thus to explore and interrogate some of the emerging, and different, approaches to higher education leadership, and especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at South African higher education institutions. This paper covers three related areas. The first section looks at how the legislative framework has been shaped by, and thus reflects, the governance concerns prior to the promulgation of the new legislation on higher education. This is followed by a section that provides an assessment of the extent to which institutions have grappled with the challenges relating to the transformation of institutional governance. The final section explores the emerging, and different, approaches to leadership at South African higher education institutions, and especially how these approaches have shaped organisational change strategies at the various institutions. THE NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK AND GOVERNANCE TRANSFORMATION The White Paper on Higher Education Transformation and the Higher Education Act, which were both promulgated in 1997, introduced a new governance framework based on the principle of cooperative governance. Cooperative governance departs from the premise that no single stakeholder, be it management, academic staff or students, can take sole responsibility for determining an institutions transformation agenda. The White Paper further states that in order for cooperative governance to work, higher education institutions must create structures and conditions that will enable differences between stakeholders to be negotiated in participative and transparent ways. The new legislation stipulates the main governance structures to be the Council, the Senate and the Institutional Forum. The Council is the supreme governing body in public higher education institutions, and is responsible for ensuring good governance within an institution. The Senate is the highest decision-making body in relation to academic matters, and is accountable to Council. Institutional Forums are new structures that have been set up to broaden participation in institutional governance. Forums are meant to act as shock absorbers to the transformation process by providing an arena for issues that pertain to the broad transformation agenda of the institution to be openly debated and discussed. They have also been established to advise Councils on a number of issues, including the mediation of conflicts among campus stakeholders, and in making an input into the process of appointing senior executive management of the institution. There seems to be general agreement among stakeholders that the primary objective of the legislative framework, namely the establishment of representative governance structures, has been accomplished at most institutions.1 However, with regard to the second objective of cooperative governance, namely that of ensuring that decision-making is participatory and transparent, the evidence is uneven. In many institutions, the new governance structures have played a leading role in many key transformation processes and decisions, most notably the appointment of vice-chancellors and other senior managers of the institution, whilst in others they have actually undermined transformation processes. Notwithstanding the reforms that have been achieved at the level of the representation of stakeholders within governance structures, there is not much evidence to demonstrate that the introduction of new stakeholders in institutional governance has radically transformed the internal functioning of these structures. It is already apparent that a number of stakeholder representatives do not have a clear idea of what their role is within these new governance structures, and have consequently not been able to play a meaningful role in the deliberations of Councils or Institutional Forums. This is corroborated by a recent research report on Institutional Forums that has found a general lack of focus, impetus and vibrancy in Institutional Forums . . . [and that] in many instances, it would seem that the Forums have lost the transformation agenda (Harper et al. 2002). THE CHALLENGE OF INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE Changes in the relationship between the state, society, and higher education institutions, coupled with the new legislative framework, have transformed the nature of leadership in South African higher education institutions. There has been a marked shift in the governance and management of higher education institutions, from a system whose institutions were largely managed through administrative fiat, to one that is characterised by more managerial and entrepreneurial approaches to leadership (Kulati 2000). The emphasis on institutional effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness within the new higher education dispensation has propelled the role of leadership and in particular that of the vice-chancellor, on to the centre stage of institutional change agendas. In addition, the demand for publicly funded institutions to be more accountable has seen many institutional leaders beginning to play a more pivotal role in the governance and management of their institutions. This demand overload, as Cloete and Bunting (1999) have referred to it, has elicited different responses from those in leadership positions at South African higher education institutions. The new legislative framework, as well as the broader challenge of globalisation, has put enormous pressure on institutions to devise new ways of managing what have become more diverse and very complex institutions. Within the space of five years, South African higher education institutions have been confronted with many challenges, including the need: " to diversify their income streams while doing more, and different, things, with increasingly less reliance on the fiscus; " to reconfigure their institutional missions, and the traditional way in which they have produced, packaged and disseminated their primary product, knowledge, in order to meet the challenges of a diverse student population, as well as an increasingly technologically oriented, and globalising, economy; and " to forge new kinds of relationships with other knowledge producers within and outside higher education, especially in industry and the private sector. (Kulati 2000) As to be expected, the manner in which institutions have responded to these challenges is very much a function of the apartheid legacy that has affected them in different ways. How institutions were governed and managed largely mirrored their role and relationship vis a vis the apartheid state. For example, the Afrikaans-medium institutions were generally supportive of the policies of previous apartheid regime, whilst appointees of the apartheid state were in charge at the historically black universities. Consequently, these institutions were characterised by highly centralised and autocratic management styles and practices. On the other hand, many of the English speaking universities who were largely opposed to the then governments apartheid policy had a much stronger collegial tradition, where the culture of decision-making was more participative. Most of the vice-chancellors that were interviewed have acknowledged that their approach to leadership within their institutions has been conditioned by this past. What follows is an attempt to categorise the different leadership responses to the challenges of transformation into broad categories of leadership approaches to institutional change. These typologies have taken as their point of departure the classification of institutional governance and management developed by Cloete and Bunting (1999). As it is usually the case with all classifications, the reality on the ground is much messier than the neat parameters that the typologies may seek to convey. In addition, the typologies that are developed below are only illustrative, with some of the overlap across categories having been deliberately de-emphasised, in order to accentuate the distinguishing features between the different approaches to leadership. It is also important to signal that as the following classification of leadership approaches is very much a product of a complex coalescence of the history and culture of the institution, the politics of the institutions internal governance dynamics, and the personality and style of those in leadership, no attempt has been made to make judgements as to which approach is the most appropriate for South African higher education institutions. Transformative leadership The institutional context. The institutions that display this approach to leadership are characterised by an orderly and gradual transformation project, with a steady growth in student enrolments. The institutions also have a good academic reputation both nationally and internationally. The broader institutional governance environment is underpinned by fairly stable governance dynamics, with generally a good relationship between institutional management and the internal stakeholders. There is also a clear role distinction between the governing body (Council) and the executive management of the institution, with the Senate also playing a strong role in defining the transformation agenda of the institution. The institution is also characterised by a good working relationship between the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor. Co-operative governance is not seen to be in tension with the need for top management to provide leadership. The transformation agenda. The reference point for the transformation agenda in these institutions is the governments legislative framework, and the central focus of the change agenda is the inculcation of a new value framework that will bind institutional stakeholders to a common vision. The transformation agenda is driven by an expanded leadership layer (which usually includes the executive Deans), which has developed a conscious strategy to popularise the new vision throughout the institution. This is achieved through developing, as Cloete and Bunting (1999) have put it, a shared transformation discourse, which is predicated on a new institutional culture that is based on a common set of values. The transformation strategy The transformation strategy in these institutions is focused on developing a common vision, and of getting the institutional stakeholders to buy into the new vision. The transformation project is underpinned by an emergent culture of strategic planning, accompanied by a cautious introduction of the new public management approaches. Leadership is about developing a new institutional culture based on a common set of values. As one vice-chancellor put it, the challenge facing him is to: shake the institution out of its complacency at being the best technikon (polytechnic) and therefore not needing to change much; in other words, to get staff to realise it is not business as usual . . . and to get [the] institution to realise that the value framework that it [once] cherished cannot be sustained What seems to be emerging from the current research, and from observing developments over the past five years are two variants of transformative leadership approaches; the first is what we refer to as the transformed collegialists, and the second are the transformative managerialists. Transformative collegialists This strand of transformative leadership is to be found primarily in the historically white, English speaking, universities, which have had a tradition of collegial governance. Although transformed collegialists share the view that universities have to move with the times, and that issues such as efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and accountability have to be embraced by higher education institutions, the approach to change starts from the premise that at the centre of the transformation project lies an intellectual agenda (in relation to the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and in research) that is non-negotiable. Thus part of the transformation agenda is to reclaim and reassert the centrality of the intellectual traditions of higher education institutions, especially the university. The institutional change strategy of the collegialists is to be sensitive to, and to work within, the confines and limits of the prevailing institutional culture, rather than going to war against it (Birnbaum 1992). This would be achieved through gradually remoulding the institution such that it is better able to respond and adapt to the new demands that it faces, while cherishing the central tenets of the academic tradition of the university, namely the pursuit of truth, disinterested enquiry, etc. In other words, the leadership challenge is about facilitating academic excellence through supporting, managing, nurturing and inspiring ones academic colleagues. Collegialists would concur with Ramsden (1998, p. 13) that deep at the heart of effective leadership is an understanding of how academics work. Although the institution utilises modern management approaches and techniques in order to re-energise the institution, there is an abiding conviction in the integrity of the collegial culture of the university. Collegialists feel vindicated by moves within the corporate sector towards post bureaucratic forms of organisation, where flat management structures and team-based decision making approaches are becoming vogue. Transformative managerialists This approach to leadership is characteristic of the historically Afrikaans institutions that have managed to transform themselves in a relatively short period. The leadership challenge is to transform the governance culture of the institution, from a historically authoritarian to a democratic one. Usually the institutional management suffers from a (political) legitimacy problem whether perceived or real either with their internal or external stakeholders, who feel that the association of the institution with the previous apartheid regime weighs heavily on its legacy. The transformation agenda is centrally driven and managed by a small leadership core. The more strategic of the transformative managerialists have used the space created by white guilt to move very quickly and introduce transformation initiatives at various levels of the institution, for example the recruitment of blacks and women into senior management positions, and the transformation of student enrolment demographics in a relatively short time. Those in leadership however also lament the absence of a culture of rigorous intellectual debate on issues that are of concern to the institution. Heres what one vice-chancellor had to say: Ive always when I met with faculties in strategic planning sessions been disappointed with the [low] level of engagement. Theres a wide, wide, gap between the level at which we work at executive management, and the next the level at which we discuss issues with the professors and senior lecturers in the faculties. Even in Council, I was quite amazed as to how easy they surrendered to good, solid arguments. I was a bit concerned about the fact that there [were not any] deep, penetrating debates. Perhaps the people were feeling a little helpless in the New South Africa and [had] to put a lot of faith in management. Of course there were debates, but none of the central tenets of transformation were ever seriously challenged. Were a strange [institution]. We move so quickly and we make a lot of changes very quickly, and were very adaptable, and yet we lack a culture of serious high-level intellectual debate. As management, we need to be challenged by more people. There [are] never those serious challenges, which I feel would have contributed to an even more reflective transformation process. In that sense, our institution still lacks genuine scholars, although we have capable academics and good researchers On the other hand, these institutional leaders are also aware that some of their traditional constituency, especially the white academics, feel threatened and insecure by the imminent and necessary changes; therefore the broader management strategy is also to get these marginalised groups to buy into the new vision, and to constantly reassure them that they form part of the new vision of the institution. Managerial leadership The institutional context. Typically, this leadership approach is to be found within the majority of the technikons, as well as the more (managerially) aggressive historically Afrikaans universities. These institutions gauge their reputation in relation to their performance in the market, which is defined broadly as the consumers of higher education products, be it the private sector, the international development agencies, and the parastatal research councils. Many of these institutions have developed strong links with industry and the international donor community, and use aggressive marketing and recruitment strategies and the latest management procedures and techniques in order to enhance their market profile. The transformation agenda Within this category, the leadership challenge is to reconfigure the institution to become more competitive and market oriented through the vigorous adaptation of corporate management principles and techniques to the higher education setting. The leadership challenge is about driving change and getting the institution to focus on its core business, through the disposal and outsourcing of unproductive assets or organisational activities that are deemed to be peripheral, and introducing efficiency improvements that would enable the executive management to run the enterprise along sound business principles. The transformation strategy The change agenda in these institutions is very much driven by a strong, decisive, centre (usually located in the office of the vice-chancellor), which is buttressed by sophisticated management support systems and structures and is run by a highly competent middle management layer. Because the transformation challenge is for the institution to be run along business lines, the vice-chancellor usually leads from the front, and tends to be regarded more like the CEO of a business enterprise. The leadership style is characterised by a rapid response management ethos; where others talk in terms of threats and survival in the face of globalisation and fierce competition from the emerging private higher education sector, the buzz in these institutions is about niche spotting and developing partnerships. We have delineated two further sub-categories within the broader classification of managerial leadership, namely the strategic managerialists and the unmitigated entrepreneurs. These sub-categories are derived from the distinction that Trow (1994) has made between the soft and hard approaches to managerialism. According to Trow, the soft managerialists, although applying management techniques in order to run their institutions more efficiently and effectively, nonetheless regard higher education institutions as distinct from businesses, and governed by their own norms and traditions. This is in contrast to the hard approach to managerialism, where institutional management has: resolved to reshape and redirect the activities of [their institutions] through funding formulas and other mechanisms of accountability [that are] imposed from outside the academic community management mechanisms created, and largely shaped, for application to large commercial enterprises. (Trow 1994, p. 12) We now turn to a discussion of these sub-categories. Strategic managerialists The leadership challenge for strategic managerialists is to get the institution to think and act more strategically, and to convince the academics that being managed, and working in an institution that is run on sound management principles, does not constitute a threat to the traditional values of academe, such as academic freedom. Many of these institutional leaders have a keen sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the institution having at their disposal access to high level strategic management skills and management information systems and an ability to formulate strategic responses to a rapidly changing policy and market environment. The change strategy is premised on striking a balance between the objectives of becoming a top-class, internationally competitive, institution, with the need to be responsive and relevant to national needs. The approach to leadership, although decisive, is tempered with a consultative approach. In the words of one vice-chancellor: You work with consensus bodies like Senate, Councils and so forth, which you dont appoint. The [organisation] is not ruled by one single thing that is measurable, be it profit per investment or profit per share or that sort of thing, which is what the board of a company would like to see. Were governed by the public good, which is different for every different stakeholder. So in the end, you [as a vice-chancellor] have to satisfy lots of people, lots of stakeholders without any clear set of criteria, which makes our task very, very difficult. To the strategic managerialists, being an academically first-rate institution, with a good understanding of business principles, ought not to be a contradiction in terms. As another vice-chancellor put it: the vice-chancellor has to be an academic with a business sense. It also depends on what type of institution youre aspiring to be: for a research/comprehensive university, you must have a strong research background; if you dont have it you cant run Senate. And if you cant run Senate, youre dead. For strategic managerialists, globalisation and the market are not viewed as threats, but as opportunities to be exploited, in order to enable the institution to be more internationally competitive. Consequently, the managerialists have been more successful in exploiting the fairly loose legislative framework to their institutions advantage, having established strong relationships with international funders, developed partnerships with the private sector and parastatal research agencies, recruited top academics from abroad, and built strong links with universities in Africa. Unmitigated entrepreneurs Within this model the higher education institution is seen as being a business, as opposed to being run like a business. Institutions are thus in the business of providing their clients the students with goods and services that are sold at a competitive price. These institutions (primarily technikons) have very strong and close links with industry, and generally lack a collegial tradition. The challenge of transformation is seen as the gearing up of the institution such that it is responsive to the rapidly changing customer needs and expectations. The terminology of post-fordism is much in vogue, with frequent reference to flexible specialisation, just-in-time systems, total quality management, and transaction costs and benefits. The leadership approach is characterised by a very gung-ho, and unquestioning, application of private sector management procedures and techniques. The executive management, whose central concern is to ensure that the institution is run efficiently, leads from the front, and is in charge of the transformation process. The institutional strategy for change is underpinned by a very instrumentalist view of education, whose primary function is seen as that of preparing young people for productive employment. In the words of one vice-chancellor who is a main proponent of this approach: I think that the days are past where we see ourselves as educational institutions only. We must see ourselves as major players in stimulating the economy of South Africa, and thats our main purpose. We are not an educational institution first of all. We are an institution to serve the country and get the economy going, and its only high-level manpower that can really do this. The governments regulatory framework, which is regarded as an inconvenience, is seen as not having an appreciation of the demands and challenges facing modern higher education institutions. Government is seen not to be generally supportive of institutional leadership, and policies such as cooperative governance are regarded as a necessary nuisance. Crisis leadership This is more of an institutional condition than an approach to leadership. These institutions are characterised by endemic conflict and split loyalties, with fractious stakeholder, local and ethnic politics holding sway. It is usually the powerful stakeholder interests who are defining the transformation agenda of the institution, which is limited to, or defined narrowly as, the ideological dimension of governance transformation. In other words, much of the transformation process has been geared towards ridding the institution of its apartheid imprints, either within its governance structures or in its management ethos. The leadership approach is characterised by crisis management and decision avoidance, and the lack of institutional cohesion makes it difficult for leaders to steer, let alone drive, change. Institutional leaders thus have less substantive authority than in the first two models. The institution has a very weak, if effective, second-tier management layer, and there is also a lack of trust between the key stakeholder groups and institutional management. Consequently, the decision-making processes within these institutions are protracted and highly politicised, and are frequently never conclusive. Even after agreements have been reached, the commitment by stakeholders to these decisions can never be guaranteed. The institutions are, as one vice-chancellor has put it, characterised by: an activist tradition, but an activist tradition that has not developed the same rigour intellectually as it had at the University of the Western Cape2 . . . [T]here was a tendency therefore to simply push the transformation agenda on the basis of the momentum of the political struggle, rather than to turn that momentum into an intellectual project. In other words, the institution didnt have an intellectual approach [to transformation], it had a political one, and that political project lacked a core intellectual substance In many of these institutions, the transformed governance structures and in particular the Institutional Forum have played a leading role in many of the key institutional processes and decisions, most notably the appointment of vice-chancellors and other senior managers in these institutions. However, many of these institutions are characterised by role confusion with regard to the responsibility and scope of governance structures, with students usually challenging the role of Councils as the primary governance body, and seeking instead to establish Institutional Forums as alternative structures of governance authority. This is particularly the case in institutions where Councils have tended not to assert their role in institutional governance. In some extreme cases there is very little role distinction between the Council and management, with the Council either being completely ineffectual, or micromanaging the institution. The relationship between the Chair of Council and the vice-chancellor has all but collapsed, or is at best non-existent in these institutions. In addition, Senate does not play a significant role in formulating the transformation agenda of the institution, and is preoccupied with fairly narrow academic issues. CONCLUSION This paper has argued that much of the emphasis of governance transformation initiatives prior to, and following, the promulgation of the legislative framework has focused on the structural and equity dimension of transformation, without a conscious consideration of what would underpin a progressive approach to institutional leadership and management. This oversight is also reflected in the silence within the legislation on the role of leadership in institutional change. It has also been argued that the exclusive reliance on governance transformation at the structural level, and on the political dividend of stakeholder participation as the main drivers of institutional transformation, has proven to be ineffective. The role that leadership can play in shaping institutional change is emerging as a central concern for institutional managers as well as policy makers. The paper has also discussed how the nature of the higher education enterprise that of ambiguous and multiple goals, combined with a collegial value-framework co-exists uncomfortably alongside the mantra of managerialism. However, the choice, it seems, is not simply between being collegial or managerial, but is to be found somewhere in between these two ideal types. In other words, transformative leadership is about devising strategies that will facilitate effective institutional leadership and management in the context of a professional culture that eschews being managed (Ramsden 1998). Another issue is that of institutional management capacity a sine qua non for effective leadership which has generally distinguished the institutions that are characterised by stability and a progressive transformation agenda from those that have foundered and are in a state of endemic crisis. This has been accompanied by a marked shift within the government reform strategy, from one that has been premised on the make-ability of society using the moral authority enjoyed by the new democratic government, to one that recognises the centrality of management and leadership capacity to the process of institutional transformation. Finally, the paper has, albeit obliquely, raised the agency versus structure tension, or personality versus environment fit challenge. In other words, to what extent is agency which is a function of the personality traits, competencies, and value-framework of the institutional leader a critical determinant of the success of vice-chancellors in these challenging times? Or does the historical context of institutions place a heavy burden on their fate such that leadership interventions, or the actions of vice chancellors, are mere prisoners to it? NOTES 1. 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