What does HE leadership look like in the 21st century?

Shearer West and Andrew Dodman

Shearer and Andrew join leadership development experts from across the world, from Melbourne to New York, to debate higher education leadership in the 21st century at a forum opened by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. 

This week, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West and Chief Operating Officer Andrew Dodman are speaking in Ottawa, Canada at a higher education leadership forum hosted by ourselves and Carleton University.

Through Sheffield Leader we have a longstanding relationship with Carleton who – inspired by our work – have since established the Carleton Leader.

I thank Carleton and the University of Sheffield for hosting this event and for bringing together so many dedicated educators and leaders in the post secondary sector from around the world.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Mirroring the concept of a community of leaders that is at the heart of Sheffield Leader, the forum brings people together to learn from each other and to tackle change.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, opened the event with a video welcome. He said: "I thank Carleton and the University of Sheffield for hosting this event and for bringing together so many dedicated educators and leaders in the post secondary sector from around the world...above all we know we can achieve more together than we could ever achieve individually. Seeing you all come together today, I could not be more optimistic about the future."

Sheffield Leaders themselves will be brought in via video conference for a Q&A led by Dr Heather Davis from the University of Melbourne who will be discussing research and examples of leadership by and for all.

This is a concept close to the hearts of both Shearer and Andrew who are keen advocates of encouraging leadership at all levels. At the forum Andrew will speak about how our investment in leadership at the University facilitates change and action.

Recognising that collectively we have the talent and capability to address our challenges and create opportunities for the future, Shearer is working closely with Sheffield Leader groups to develop an understanding of the barriers to leadership, which has helped inform discussions with the University Executive Board and heads of department.

Resilient leaders can communicate powerfully, build positive and trusting relationships, develop others, and champion change. They are decisive, coachable and bold risk takers.

Professor Shearer West

She has also provided opportunities for Sheffield Leader colleagues to play an instrumental role in supporting Strategy Delivery Group engagement sessions, as well as seeking the views and expertise of all staff through the various projects and initiatives.

With the complexities and challenges currently facing the higher education sector from the rise of Asia Pacific competition to the need to demonstrate economic, social and cultural impact, Shearer will use her keynote speech in Ottawa to debate the traditional characteristics of academic culture that can sometimes conflict with a 21st-century university.

She will also assert the value and influence of resilient leadership in higher education – leaders who can communicate powerfully, build positive and trusting relationships, develop others, champion change, and who are decisive, coachable and bold risk takers.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, welcomes delegates to the higher education leadership forum: