Succeeding as a University Administrator

Authored by: Renée M. Tobin , Elaine Clark , Salvador Hector Ochoa , Jane Close Conoley

Handbook of University and Professional Careers in School Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367353674
eBook ISBN: 9780429330964
Adobe ISBN:


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Pursuing a career in school psychology is typically driven by a strong desire to help youth by harnessing the science and practice of psychology, yet many in our field have found themselves either by choice or by default in academic leadership positions. Close examination of the National Association of School Psychologist’s Practice Model (NASP, 2020) suggests that school psychology principles and training provide especially relevant preparation for a leadership position in academia. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the activities that university administrators may engage in as well as skills and strategies that school psychologists are uniquely prepared to use in these roles. We first define leadership, and academic leadership as a special case. We then detail the 10 domains of school psychology practice from the NASP Practice Model and map the skills onto the demands of university leadership. We conclude by sharing our thoughts as four tenured school psychology faculty members who are serving as administrators, each at different levels of administrative responsibility, offering insights into leadership styles, personnel management, interpersonal skills, self-care, and lessons learned.

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