Workshop Entitled "Leadership in Higher Education"

On 28 January 2012, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at BZU held a workshop entitled: "Leadership in Higher Education: The Role of the
Chairperson." The
workshop focused on the role of successful leadership in achieving the goals of academic institutions and on the importance of training academic leaders (department chairpersons and deans) and providing them with the tools necessary to perform their duties successfully.




In his opening speech, BZU
President, Dr. Khalil Hindi, pointed to the increasing demand for higher education on a global scale,
but particularly in the Arab world. He noted the concomitant increase in the quantity and diversity of disciplines. He applauded the role played by administration that leads to organizational
achievements. At the
university level, Hindi highlighted the
role of efficient academics
and effective leadership in bringing about desired change and accomplishments within a globally
competitive market. Thus, promoting a
culture of excellence in local universities and eventually keeping pace with high
ranking world universities, he added.

Furthermore, Dr. Hindi emphasized the need to support academic leaders in enhancing their leadership skills, including training and
professional development in
various areas,  while enabling
access to international
experience and expertise. According to Dr. Hindi, this could be achieved by
holding conferences and
participating in
international forums, as
well as expanding the jurisdiction of chairpersons
and deans in terms of planning, coordination, and decision-making. Additionally, he noted that it is key
to support them through involving
them in programs of change
and strategic planning, as well as enhancing communication
skills with the students.



Deputy Minister for Higher Education,
Dr. Fahoum Shalaby, addressed the importance of leadership in education, being part of the Ministry’s concern. He spoke about indicators of good university
leadership, most importantly the presence
of structural governance, planning, strategy, and
a university body
that seeks to achieve its goals and

The workshop comprised interactive sessions in which the
President of Hebron
University, Dr. Samir Abuznaid, presented a paper entitled: “Leadership: The Glaring Gap in Practice.”
Chairman of Meirc Training and Consultancy in California, Dr. Farid Muna, participated via live internet link, presenting a paper
entitled “Leadership
for Better Performance.” Director of the MBA Program at BZU, Dr. Grace Khoury, presented a paper entitled: “Management and Leadership Styles." Additionally, the Director
of Planning and Development at Polytechnic University in Hebron, Dr. Suhail Sultan, presented a paper entitled “Critical Thinking in the Administrative Context,” and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Aziz Shwabkeh, presented a paper entitled “The Role of Department Chairpersons as Key Administrators.”

Department chairpersons, heads of academic programs and deans at BZU and other Palestinian universities participated in the workshop, which was supported
by the Palestinian
Telecom Company Jawwal.