Academic Leadership and Administration

scott jamesJames C. Scott, University of North Texas
Chair, Committee on Academic Leadership and Administration

The work of the Leadership and Administration Committee this year continued the process of reviewing and recommending final text for the CMS Advocacy Statement. Many people made important contributions to the later stages of discussion, and there appears to be strong consensus about the power and appropriateness of the final version. Since advocacy was central to the San Diego meeting, it was only natural that there was a session coordinated by the Forums and Dialogues Committee in which those of us who crafted the draft version discussed its rationale and its implied calls to action. During the session, we extracted from the prose the values that serve as sources for advocacy efforts. We must advocate for music first for the art that it is and its intrinsic value, but add to that the value it provides in varied social contexts and its value for mental and physical discipline, as we also promote the understanding of music as a highly diverse and worthy professional field. These concepts were at the heart of the generative effort toward the statement and guide the finished work as well.

From committee discussion, we would like for a next major area for consideration to be “Leadership from within the Faculty.” This idea was very new at the time of last year’s report, and has not yet come to fruition. There is much that can be done, we feel, to nourish leadership abilities and motivations among faculty other than those fulfilling administrative positions. While for some, such an engagement may lead to administrative positions and help develop the next generation of chairs, directors, and deans, there is just as much importance in cultivating responsible and effective leadership among those who do not wish to pursue an administrative path. There are important distinctions between personal, often self-serving entrepreneurial ventures and initiatives or behaviors that serve the greater good through activities well-coordinated with the purposes and strategies of individual music units. We propose to develop a session devoted to this topic over the course of this year that will serve as a guide both to faculty members and to administrators. It is the chair’s intent to foster exploration of possibilities through e-mail conversation with committee members and others during the coming months.

The Committee also participated in the request to assist with the work of “Quick Start #3” through suggesting other musical organizations with which the College Music Society should have significant relationships. A number of nominations came from the committee membership and were presented for consideration and implementation in San Diego. At this point we await more specific guidance on following up with this initiative in concrete ways based on the goal to “develop a network of liaisons, one for each CMS committee, to pursue strategic partnerships, alliances, and mutually beneficial relationships with selected professional music societies. “ (Quick Start #3 official language)

Our committee has been asked to help with another part of this same Quick Start in addressing the goal to “Increase the visibility and prestige of the Society through communication with music administrators regarding CMS events, resources, and a newly developed institutional package of services.” This will also constitute a significant part of the committee’s work in the coming months. Analysis and preliminary planning will first take place between the chair and the Executive Director, after which broad input from the committee will be sought.