Pseudo Transformational Leader

In at least one paragraph, supported by evidence from your text, articles, and other research, respond to the bullet points below:

Define the terms authentic and pseudo-transformational leader.
Pick two leaders, one authentic and one pseudo-transformational.
Explain why the chosen leaders fit the assigned leadership style.
Describe the leaders’ activities that made them either an authentic or pseudo-transformational leader.

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This discussion forum focuses on analyzing Case Study 8.1 (A New Mission for Ferry port College) from your textbook.

In at least one paragraph, supported by evidence from your text and from other research, respond to at least three of the seven bullet points below:

Describe if Hughes is a transformational or pseudo-transformational leader.
Was it ethical to downplay the college’s mission in order to attract more students?
Explain if colleges operate more like businesses.
By recruiting business donors, did Hughes sell out the vision and values of the school?
Should Ferry port change its vision statement? Why or why not?
Is there any way to ensure Ferry port’s financial future without further altering its culture? If so, how?
If you were a faculty member, would you support a no-confidence vote? If you were on the board of trustees, how would you respond to such a vote?

“Case Study 8.1: A New Mission for Ferry port College

Ferry port College was founded by a group of abolitionists prior to the Civil War. The group wanted to train teachers, clergy, and other professionals for the fight against slavery. After slavery was abolished, Ferry port continued to emphasize social justice, supporting, for example, the early union movement, the Civil Rights Movement, equal opportunities for women, fair trade, and antipoverty initiatives. Social concern is written into the college’s mission statement, which states, “Preparing students to improve humanity.” Graduation requirements include participation in service projects and internships. In order to promote equality, all faculty members start at the same salary and receive raises based on years of service, not on academic rank. Administrators are paid more than faculty but the difference in compensation is significantly less than at other institutions. Power is shared as well. Administrators consult faculty on all major initiatives and policy changes.

Five years ago, Ferry port faced a crisis. Prospective students didn’t seem as interested in social justice; enrollment dropped from 1,500 to 1,100 students. Ferry port lacked a significant endowment fund to make up the loss in tuition revenue in part because its alumni, who gravitate toward low-paying, nonprofit positions, had little money to donate to their alma mater. Major business donors were turned off by Ferry port’s support for unions, a raise in the minimum wage, and more government regulation of corporations. Nervous bankers demanded that Ferry port increase its financial reserves from $1 million to $2 million in order to guarantee future loans.

In response to the crisis, the school’s board of directors encouraged the president to retire and appointed Gavin Hughes in his place. Hughes had a doctorate in higher education but came to Ferry port from an educational software company. He immediately hired a marketing director who launched a new admissions campaign that highlighted Ferry port’s successful sports teams, beautiful campus, and international trips but made no mention of the college’s mission or service requirements. In another significant move, he hired a chief financial officer (CFO) from an accounting firm and gave him authority to veto spending, even on academic programs. Hughes then recruited a group of local corporate executives to serve as an informal advisory board to help him operate the college in a “business-like manner.” He also increased the number of business people on the Board of Trustees.

President Hughes’ moves paid off. The new admissions campaign restored enrollments and the CFO reined in spending. Donations from the local business community increased dramatically, funding the university’s reserves, paying for the construction of a badly needed dining hall and sports complex, and increasing the school’s endowment. The board of trustees was impressed by the turnaround and granted Hughes and his vice presidents substantial raises. At the same time, the board, at the urging of the president and CFO, decided to delay salary increases for staff and faculty for another year in order to ensure a balanced budget.

Faculty, while grateful for the college’s financial stability, expressed concern about the new direction of the school. They could earn substantially more at other colleges and universities but were attracted by Ferry port’s social outreach. They worried that the unique culture of Ferry port was being lost in the push to make the college operate like a business. Some complained that money, not mission, now drove the college. Marketing seemed to take priority over the college’s traditional values. The president, who was quick to claim personal credit for the college’s success, appeared to be consolidating power in his administration, reducing the voice of faculty. Others resented the fact that those from nonacademic backgrounds were making important decisions about academic programs.

Tensions came to a head when President Hughes proposed a new mission statement for Ferry port: “Preparing tomorrow’s successful new leaders.” No mention was made of social concern, and faculty worried that success meant preparing students for lucrative careers rather than preparing them to serve others. At the same time, Hughes proposed a new faculty evaluation system designed to reward high performers. No longer would faculty operate on the same salary scale. Instead, they would be rated on such factors as publications, teaching evaluations, and use of technology in the classroom. Under this pay-for-performance system, raises would depend on how faculty members were rated by administrators.

Upset by the changes, faculty debated whether or not to issue a no-confidence vote in the president. Such a vote is not legally binding; the board of trustees can ignore it. However, President Hughes would find it hard to continue in his position if faculty publicly united in opposition to his leadership.

Discussion Probes

Is Hughes a transformational or pseudo-transformational leader? Was it ethical to downplay the college’s mission in order to attract more students? Should colleges operate more like businesses? By recruiting business donors, did Hughes sell out the vision and values of the school? Should Ferry port change its vision statement? Why or why not?Is there any way to ensure Ferry port’s financial future without further altering its culture? If so, how? If you were a faculty member, would you support a no-confidence vote? If you were on the board of trustees, how would you respond to such a vote?” For more information on Pseudo Transformational Leader see this:

Pseudo Transformational Leader

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