Leadership Case Study: Babcock University New Department Chair Leaders Dilemma
by, Brandon Garber, BS Submitted to Robert Dibie, PhD.
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of V566: Executive Leadership
School of Public Environment and Affairs Indiana University, Kokomo
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Introduction This case study titled, Babcock University New Department Chair Leaders Dilemma, explores the leadership shift from Dr. Afolabi to Dr. Aluko in the Babcock University Public Management Department. The case study holds that Dr. Afolabi was the public management department chair person for ten years at Babcock University. His leadership style was explained as “autocratic.” However, he had, “personal qualities necessary to command respect and loyalty” (Leadership Case Study: Babcock University New Department Chair Leaders Dilemma). Additionally, Dr. Afolabi made and enforced all rules, regulations and policies in extreme detail. His autocratic style of leadership left very little to the individual faculty member in terms of experimentation, freedom in teaching and handling of students. His style of leadership caused the faculty to be “passive, subservient, dependant and ambivalent” (Leadership Case Study…). However, faculty morale was generally high and faculty turnover was modest. Many faculty members trusted Dr. Afolabi and felt that they were not restricted. When Dr. Afolabi suddenly died he was replaced by Dr. Aluko. The case study holds that Dr. Aluko came from a neighboring university where he held a position as a faculty member and assistant department chairperson. Dr. Aluko‟s leadership style was in sharp contrast to Dr. Afolabi. Dr. Aluko believed strongly in the concept of “democratic
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administration” (Leadership Case Study…). In other words, he believed in delegating tasks to his subordinates. For example, at the first department meeting of the semester, he articulated that he wanted to share the budgeting, scheduling and the allocation of supplies responsibilities with the members of the faculty. He believed that this would allow the faculty to have a greater role in the decision making process. Unfortunately, this led to decreased morale and a feeling that Dr. Aluko was assigning chair person work to faculty members. Furthermore, Dr. Aluko did not assign the faculty any noninstructional duties, assuming that the faculty would participate in committee and department meetings, advice student groups with no interference from him. However, this did not happen and was eventually noticed by the dean, and Dr. Aluko was invited for a “chat.” During this “chat” the dean and the provost stated that they “no longer know what‟s going on in the „Public Management Department‟ and were concerned that perhaps Dr. Aluko was not up to the job of department chair” (Leadership Case Study…). Problems The main problem in this case study is how a change in leadership has caused a successful Public Management Department to be deemed unsatisfactory by the dean and the provost of Babcock University. (Assuming that success is measured by course enrollments being high, number of students going on to graduate school and a steady increase in
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department budget and assuming that unsatisfactory behavior is measured by faculty members not attending meetings, not keeping regular officer hours not being punctual and student complaints.) However, this problem was manifested mainly due to the contrasting leadership styles of Dr. Afolabi and Dr. Aluko and will be discussed in the Critical Analysis section of this case study. Critical Analysis It is my belief that the root cause of the down fall of the Public Management Department is the change in leadership. However, to understand the problem, an examination of both Dr. Afolabi‟s and Dr. Aluko‟s leadership styles must be explored. Dr. Afolabi‟s...
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