Transforming Leadership In Collegiate Admissions

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Amanda Major
Janel Bell-Haynes
Eric Walton


Transforming Leadership in Collegiate Admissions, Strategic Planning for Higher Education Admissions Offices


The 21st century has seen the consequences of short-term leadership strategies, and the results have left little certainty, making long-term planning challenging. However, without a globally oriented, long-term, ethical strategy, some closed systems fail to adapt to feedback, risking failure. Universities face this challenge, and long-term planning is particularly troublesome for university admissions departments. To overcome these challenges and build on identified strengths, these departments must undergo self-evaluation and reconsider their leadership decision-making processes. In this study, we assess the operations and needs for stronger decision-making for our service learning partner, a public universitys admissions departments. Based on the identified needs, we offer suggestions for ethical decision-making in public collegiate admission offices. We identify needs through SWOT analysis involving an exploration of admissions offices decision-making challenges. Their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats are explained in the context of internal obstacles and external barriers, respectively. Then we establish a framework for understanding their ethical paradigm. We frame their challenges in the context of the bounds of human capacity for rational and psychological decision-making as well as the influence of politics, a capitalistic society, and technological innovations. From the analysis, we present transformational suggestions based on decision-making strategies that practically address the current leadership decisions faced by the higher education admissions office.


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