Few resources are available to support deans who lead reform while they navigate competing complex issues. Understanding how deans succeed in leading a reform agenda carries much significance in today’s context where issues of equity and Covid-19 are challenging educators to reexamine the content and delivery of programs, while also grappling with a myriad of other challenges (e.g., declining enrollment and fiscal demands). Little research examines the actions that deans take to lead change in their colleges or schools. This exploratory study employing grounded theory methods was designed to unpack what deans actually do when engaging their college or school in a reform effort. The results suggest that there are strategic actions deans take to facilitate change on their campuses, and these actions are reflected in an emerging theory of action.
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