Leadership in Abundance

Functional Leadership at Unity College

Leadership Approach

Unity College leaders need access to information and personnel need access to decision-makers. A flatter administrative structure allows day-to-day realities to better influence strategic decisions. One-on-one relationships between students, faculty, and staff are central to the Unity College value proposition. A more horizontal organization helps establish students at the heart of the community and keeps executive administration closer to that heart. A flatter organization also makes sure that there are opportunities to develop leadership at all levels of the organization.

Unity College expects empowered and accountable leadership.

Functional leadership is an approach that leans heavily on a team of mutually invested senior leaders. Rather than identifying a leader’s role by reporting lines, in a functional leadership model senior leaders are identified by their area(s) of primary functional responsibility. The senior level team shares overall responsibility for meeting strategic institutional goals, establishing campus culture, managing risk, and—most importantly—stewarding the mission of the college.

Within the senior leadership team, individuals serve as first among equals or chief officer in a given functional area of primary responsibility. The language of “chief officer” is familiar in the role of “Chief Academic Officer” and “Chief Financial Officer.” Chief officer is not a rank; it is a role.

The leadership team may have deans working with directors as first among equals. Different rank, parallel role. Chief of Staff serves as an extension of the office of the President and coordinates among the other chief officers.

A first among equals approach means being responsive to changing conditions; an individual’s capacity to serve will, at times, seem to stretch the boundaries of a strict job description in order to place project and need above reporting structure. First among equals means shared successes and shared failures. Celebrations are inclusive. Challenges, vulnerabilities, and mistakes are treated with transparency.

Track Progress

New Chief Officers: Bert, Julie, and Dan

Email 11/11/2015 TO: Employee-news FROM: Dr. Melik Peter Khoury DATE: November 11, 2015 SUBJECT: New Chief Officers: Bert, Julie, and Dan ATTACHMENT: Chief Facility Management Officer Job Description; Chief Information Officer Job Description; Chief Fundraising...

Be Innovative! … BUT DON’T… Upset The Apple Cart! … HUH?

LinkedIn Article - Oct 19,2015 I often spend time fielding questions from colleagues about the contradiction between being asked to innovate, yet not rock the boat. Most of us work in the not-for-profit higher education field, an industry that has its challenges, but...

A New Model for Higher Education

“I may not have all the answers, but I am dedicating my career to creating the space to reimagine higher education.  I invite current colleagues and new partners from across the world to work within that space to create a new model of higher education.” – Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President, Unity College.

Fishbowl Talks

Unity Fishbowl Talks is a colloquium series for Unity College faculty and invited outside speakers to discuss ideas on pedagogy and to present their scholarly work.