Special Issue "Contemporary Challenges in Leading Higher Education Organizations"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Cassie Barnhardt
Guest Editor
Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, University of Iowa, N491 Lindquist Center, Iowa City, IA 52242 USA
Interests: organizational theory in higher education; university social responsibility; social movement phenomenon and campus activism; campus climate; mixed methods; contentious issues in higher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue of Education Sciences seeks empirical and scholarly work focusing on Contemporary Challenges in Leading Higher Education Organizations. Papers shall expand the knowledge base related to administering the provision of higher education and the ways bureaucratic and organizational routines manifest as opportunities for leadership. Of particular interest are analyses that:

(a) provide new considerations or measures of the collective or social impact of university performance;

(b) consider the role of civic leadership or citizen advocacy in supporting national/regional higher education system coordination and planning;

(c) reveal the complexities of building new ministerial (state-agency) operations and capacities to meet expanding compliance requirements and/or new policy objectives;

(d) offer insights about university-led translational projects that address national or municipal social goals (such as addressing sustainability, aspects of equity or inclusion, unemployment, and development/capacity building goals); and

(e) assess the efficacy of shared governance and managerial/executive decision-making processes in addressing crises of public confidence in a university or higher education system.

Papers that situate the organization or department as the unit of analysis (rather than individuals) are preferred; as are cross-case comparison studies that use social impact as the outcome and variations in organizational/university behavior as an independent measure of interest (Walsh, Meyer, and Schoonhoven, 2006). Further, this Special Issue seeks to provide readers with clarity about the role that politics, finance, and/or culture have in constraining or enabling higher education institutions’ capacities for leadership and action. Submissions utilizing quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods are welcome. In all cases, papers selected for publication will be those that offer readers a close connection to theory, clear and compelling evidence, and explicit applications to administrative practice and organizational performance in higher education contexts.

Dr. Cassie Barnhardt
Guest Editor


Walsh, J. P., Meyer, A. D., & Schoonhoven, C. B. (2006). A future for organization theory: Living in and living with changing organizations. Organization Science, 17(5), 657-671.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Higher education leadership
  • Educational system planning
  • Community engaged research
  • Translational research
  • University shared governance
  • Education Ministries
  • Steering Committees
  • Governing Boards
  • Administrative leadership
  • State coordinating boards
  • State agencies
  • Higher education policy
  • Academic staff
  • Department chairs
  • National quality assurance
  • Higher education finance
  • Higher education policy
  • University Performance
  • University ICT
  • Educational data infrastructure
  • Regional educational coordination

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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