Management provides consistency,
control, and efficiency with or without new ideas and
processes. Leadership fosters
purpose, creativity, imagination, and drive.
leadership can come from a variety of people in a number
of roles. In a time of change and challenge, managing
well requires elements of leadership (Shoemaker, 1998,
While community colleges in California have been engaged
in distance learning activities for more than thirty years,
the recent nationwide explosion in web-based learning has
brought new scrutiny to teaching and learning using technology.
Campus distance learning personnel and faculty pioneers are
frequently called upon to provide leadership and vision regarding
the expansion of distance learning and technology-mediated
instruction. Strong management and leadership skills are
essential to engaging the organization and campus culture
in this transformation.
Organizational change requires persistence, advocacy, team
building and adept strategic planning. Campus policies and
procedures are reviewed, debated, and often changed to create
more student-centered learning environments. Academic divisions
engage in lively discussions to identify the courses that
should and should not be delivered via distance learning
or supported by technology. Quality standards, student retention
rates, virtual or proctored testing, transfer agreements
and faculty contracts are examined and policy changes implemented.
Campus technology infrastructure is assessed, supported and
upgrades planned. The distance learning profession must be
prepared to engage in these discussions and to provide informed
and effective campus leadership.