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Academic Management

A. Introduction
In academic management, there will be consideration in the viewpoint of two
complementary roles: that of CEO or leader and manager of the organization, its people and
resources, and that of the leading professional, focusing on the educational and pedagogical
core of LTO’s language teaching service. In addition, there are two directions: towards
students and teachers, on the other hand, towards the organizational system and processes
that make effective provision of teaching and learning possible. That dual viewpoint means
that the academic manager is often called upon to reconcile two sets of interests: those
concerned with the commercial success of the LTO, and those prioritizing its responsibilities
as an educational provider.

B. Academic Management

Academic Management is a broad term and it can have various shades of meaning
depending on the context you are in. The following are the the example of academic manager
roles and responsibilities in some contexts.

1. Managing a New Branch

The following is the illustration of an academic manager’s responsibilities in managing a
new branch.
Loraine is the manager of a branch of a long-established not-for-profit (NFP) chain of
LTOs which operate on a commercial basis. She was appointed to help turn around a city
centre branch which had been underperforming, and her job was to:
 Motivate staff suffering from low morale
 Work with a business development manager in devising new courses
appropriate to the market
 Meet and exceed the quality expectations of clientele
 Help develop a technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) policy for the
2. Managing a Programme
Hasan is a co-ordinator of the writing programme in the English department at a technical
university in the Middle East. Most of his responsibilities are as follows:
 Making decisions about teaching hours
 Assigning classes and offices to the teachers he supervises
 Timetabling with the collaboration of the registrar
 Dealing with students’ queries, grievances and requests

The courses which he is responsible for prepare students for academic writing and entry
into their degree studies. The main problem faced by the students is that the students were
poorly prepared for using computer in writing classes as a study and work tool, Hasan
who is highly computer-literate, initiated the development of a programme to develop
such skills among both English department staff and students. Achieving this called for
an understanding of the decision-making processes and resource allocation authorities
within the university, and adeptness in obtaining their support in developing students’
word processing, search and study skills using computer.

3. Managing a Departement
Astrid is head of English as well as head of the languages department in a large publicly
funded university for further education. There are nine departments, eight of them
provide courses while the other one, entral Services, includes HR, IT department, course
registration, the Finance department and PR. At an institutional level the heads of all
departments, as well as one elected representative of the department, are members of
college decision-making committee. As head of English, Astrid reports to the head of
Languages, but as she occupies both posts, she reports directly to college management.
As head of English she decides who to employ as teachers, and she is responsible for
assigning teachers to courses. All teachers are employed on an hourly basis. Her main
responsibility is programme planning and development, which includes making decision
 The coursebook series to be used
 The kinds of courses to be taught
 Innovations to be introduced
 Maintaining the levels of quality of service expected of her college

In terms of strategic planning, she is responsible for deciding upon aims for the
following year and finding ways of achieving them.

4. Managing a Training Programme

Rob is the manager of Foundation Training for a communications company on a Ministry
of Defence (MOD) contract with military of a foreign country. The company facilitates
the necessary hardware, software and management support for operational system
throughout the country. As part of the contract, company trains soldier to be competent
technicians and operator of equipment. Most training takes place at the military’s school
in the capital, although additional regional training is scheduled and so trainers need to be
The school in the capital is overseen by the head of Training, who manages four
departments: Training facilities, Training Development, Foundation training and
Equipment Training; and liaises with the MOD and the military about the quality of
service provision.
Rob is supported bt the Foundation Training co-ordinator. He is responsible for the
content and provision of general and ESP English language training as well as basic
technical training and he reports to the head of Training. Need analysis, material
approval, timetabling, testing and course evaluation are administered separately by the
Training Development department to be consistent with the institution-wide approach to
military training.
The English trainers are employed on a full-time basis. As well as teaching soldiers in
the capital and on occasion in the regions, they contribute to the continual modification
and improvement of the company’s in-house matertials, liasing with Equipment Training

5. The Dual Roles of Academic Manager

Law & Glover (2006: 6) stated that range of responsibilities of managers cover the dual
roles of educational leadership: those of chic executive and professional leader. The
former includes internal and external roles.
These are the internal responsibilities of academic manager:
 Curriculum management (inclusing teaching)
 Assessment and Evaluation
 Articulating the organization’s strategic focus and direction (strategist)
 Allocating and co-ordinating a range of organizational functions (manager)
 Acting as organizational broker and referee

The following are the external responsibilities of academic manager:

 Being accountable to the governing body, educational authorities,

accreditation agency, government (executive officer)
 Articulating the mission of the school (diplomat)
 Undertaking public relations with stakeholder communities and external
bodies (publicist)

The role of professional leader likewise involves internal and external roles as

Internal roles:

 Developing staff and guiding them professionally (mentor)

 Demonstrating personal teaching skills and technical competence (educator)
 Supporting students, parents, clients, etc. (adviser)

External roles:

 Representing the school in external professional activities (ambassador)

 Acting as institutional spokesperson vis-à-vis educational and professional
matters (advocate)

6. Levels of Academic management

For an academic manager, the range of skills, responsibilities and time perspectives is
varied according to the status of the manager. From the example, Loraine, Astrid,
Hassan, and Rob are managers in their own department. But they are different in the
range of responsibility because of their status.

Generally, an academic manager has main responsibilities as follows:

 Curriculum management
 Assessment and evaluation
 Staff development
 Quality assurance

C. Curriculum Management

There are three levels of curriculum management:

 Level 1: vision, mission, values

Having a shared understanding and belief about the existence of the LTO is the important
thing in maintaining a vision of an organization. While the main goal of the organization
has to be in accordance with the mission statement. Therefore, to make the mission clear,
the important way is through the curriculum management.

Statement of principles:
Through the statement of principles, the vision, mission, and values will be realized as
long as curriculum management is noticed.
 Consistent focus to develop practical and functional skill
 The practical task for the students
 The priorities are realistic and communicative uses of language
 Collaborative work
 Balanced activity between accuracy- focused and fluently- focused
 The teacher is a learning facilitator
 Assessment reflect support communicative and skill-based orientation
 Develop students awareness of the learning process, learning styles, strength, and
 Develop students’ ability to monitor their learning progress and personal goals.

 Level 2: frameworks and guidelines

The second level of curriculum management represents a tactical level of course
development as follows:
o Policy statements or guidelines on approach to teaching and learning.
o Syllabus Checklist
o Procedures for applying the above to the planning and preparation of specific

All those tactical levels above and the decision making roles has been summarized by
Jhonson (1989, p.3) in a series of developmental stages as follows:

No Developmental Stages Decision-making roles Products

1 Curriculum planning Policymaker Policy document
2 Specification Need analysis Syllabus
 Ends Methodologist
 Means
3 Program implementation Material writers Teaching materials

Teacher trainers Teacher-training

4 Classroom implementation Teacher Teaching acts
Learner Learning acts

An academic manager may cover all the stages and become a receiver of the product or
the one who responsible for the production. If there any weaknesses in the guidelines and
the procedures for the staff, it is possible for an academic manager to improve the
guidelines or the procedures. Sometimes, if something goes wrong, it is necessary for the
organization to enforce an automatic pilot which does not follow the guidelines and the

 Level 3: Specific Products or Services

The last level in curriculum management is specific products or services. This level
directly involves customers because teaching and learning activities will not take place
without their involvement. At this level, LTO has two functions at once: as a teaching
institution and service provider. In short, this management operational level uses systems
and resources, that is already planned, to support and facilitate the service to the clientele.
3.1 Course requirement
Course requirements adapted from the European Association for Quality Language
Service (EAQUALS, 2007):

Structured course of studies

 Curriculum (an overall description of objectives)
 Syllabus and/or means of specifying appropriate course content, aims, and learning
outcomes for teacher and students
 Schemes of work from appropriate lesson planning that enable teachers to implement
course content and structure
 Records of work


 A comprehensive, written description of level which are available for students and known
to staff including basic “descriptor” and specifying students’ abilities and when these are
 Reference to the Common European Framework of Reference

Students’ needs

 Guidelines or support to implement curriculum and syllabus documents to meet the needs
of specific learners
 Rationale or reason for grouping (level, age, gender, nationality, occupation)
 Means/tools of reviewing and updating the course description/curriculum/syllabus

3.2 Teaching Standards

This teaching standards are adapted from the European Association for Quality Language
Service (EAQUALS, 2007). The focus here is on the standard of teaching and the use of
appropriate and effective teaching methods.

Teaching methods

 Efficient planning and organization of lessons should be transparent to the

students/learners so that they will understand what they are doing and how it will help
them to learn
 Effective class management, it includes:
- Teachers’ ability to use a variety of techniques and to organize students in
different working groups
- Teachers’ ability to present information, monitor, provide support, manage
changes of activity efficiently and clearly
 Effectiveness and appropriateness of methods related to students’ age, level, aims,
and needs
 Effectiveness and appropriateness of using resources such as textbook, boards,
handouts, audio, video, etc.

Course and Product Development

Another important commercial aspect of course provision is product development

or New Product Development (NPD). In an LTO, NPD tends less common than
“refreshing” the existing courses (products). Though, new courses (products) are still
needed to be developed in response to a need. Below is the reason why such a product
needs a refreshment or NPD:

 Demand identified by market research

 Declining interest in the existing course
 Launching of new course by competitors
 Demand for new courses from existing clientele
 Changes in or additions to examinations or tests
 Publication of new textbooks, teaching materials
 Availability of new teaching technology
 Recruitment staff with new ideas

New Product Development Stages (Adapted from http://www.tutor2u.net/business


1. Idea generation New idea comes from internal and external
2. Idea screening Evaluating, sorting for pedagogical feasibility,
financial viability, marketability. Risk analysis
3. Concept development and Converting concept to the real product and testing
testing it to the consumers to know their response
4. Marketing strategy Designing a marketing strategy for the new
development product, doing some formal market research to
measure product’s potential
5. Business analysis Reviewing sales, cost and profit projections
against LTO’s goals
6. Product development Designing and developing the new product
7. Test marketing Make a small-scale pilot of the new product and
adjust precisely of product
8. Commercialization Introducing new product to the market
9. Review Evaluating performance of new product against
commercial and academic criteria as specified in
budgeted proposal and marketing plan
In the NPD stage above, the stage or scheme begin with idea generation. Then, Ideas are
evaluated or checked for their feasibility, financial viability as well as marketability. The idea
screening is important since it must be relevant with the goals and the mission of economic
viability of the LTO. The failure to adequately screen a new product proposal, can lead to a
waste of LTO resources. The post-commercialization stage is also important because it uses
to measure the performance that has been set out in the business marketing plans. This is
usually specified as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). KPIs is a measurement to know the
improvement of an activity that is critical to the business.

At each stage, the cooperation between Marketing and Sales staff, Academic and
Students services are important. Once the new product is in the development stage. It should
have the one who is responsible and accountable for its success. If the new product has been
launched and get successful response from the market, then it will continue as a routine part
of a product provided by the LTO. On contrary, if the product fails to meet success criteria,
then it should be either modified or withdrawn. One thing that should be remembered by the
LTO is a new product, like any innovation, will tend to follow an adoption curve as described
by Everett Rogers (1995) who studied the adoption of agricultural innovation among farmers:

The figure above describes that there is slow take-up at the start, followed by more rapid
adoption as it reaches the highest point, until declining into a small percentage. Managers
need to pay attention to this when setting up the targets for a new product. Thus, managers
should always remember that products have a life cycle, whether the product’s adoption
reaches into the peaks or goes into decline, decisions will have to be made as to its future.

The specification of new product

The specification of the new product will typically include the following criteria:

 Target customer: demographic, psychographic (dividing the customer based on different

personality traits, attitude, interest and life style), and academic characteristics
 Aims: what customer goals are to be achieved
 Content: what the course content will be
 Mode: what modes of provision/modes of teaching are to be used
 Time: how long it will and in what time the product will be package and sold
 When: time of year and day
 Cost: how much it will cost to develop and provide
 Price: what the market prize is

Refreshing existing products have low risk. Meanwhile, developing and launched
totally new product is high risk. New Product Development Stage (NPD) provides the
frameworks that is able to mitigate risk and keep the resources as well as the reputation of the

D. Managing Resource

In LTO, managing resources are significant part which is involved obtaining, organizing,
replacing and maintaining. These resources include people and their skills, materials,
hardware, software and time. Let’s look at the one example below which illustrate resources
management in hardware:

Vignette 8.5: Miranda’s LTO

The LTO was approached by the third party to do a pilot work on the use of interactive white
board (IWB) as a part of research and development. Miranda, as a teacher who interest in
teaching using application of IT, involved into that pilot to develop her skill. There was only
one IWB in each of the branch. However, Miranda has done some in-service training sessions
with teacher, but there was limited adoption with that IWB. The fact that there was only one
IWB in each branch means that it was administratively difficult to timetable their use. In
other word, teachers have very limited opportunity to develop their familiarity with it. After
In the vignette above, there was a policy gap. The LTO lack of technology-enhanced
language learning (TELL) policy, so the experimental use of IWB did not become a part of
pedagogical marketing strategy. Furthermore, once decision had been made to proceed
further, no money was budgeted to purchase and install the expensive equipment such as

Thus, the first concern in the resource management is in purchasing policy in line with
the mission and purpose of the LTO, and the maintenance of quality. This means that an
academic manager should have policy guidelines to budget for the acquisition of:

 Renewable resources for the year (part of the annual operating budget)
 Additional or new resources
 Additional or replacement equipment
 Training requirement associated with any of those equipment

Those acquisition above should be in line with projected need and the state of existing
resources. This should be planned into budget planning for the year ahead so that where
necessary, resources and equipment are renewed. Purchasing will be scheduled according to
demand and use together with the time needed for training.

Types of resource

All LTOs have a range of resources that are conventionally categorized under three main

 Consumable: items like stationery

 Non-consumable: equipment, such as office equipment, computers, teaching equipment,
 Intangibles: these are assets (something the LTOs have) and capability (something it can
do). It includes human capital, knowledge capital, brand, R & D capability, IT, etc.
The effective management of intangible resource in LTO is very important. They are not
storable as physical resources, but without the supply of them, an LTO will be in trouble. For
the academic manager, the intangible resources are related with teaching and learning. Many
LTOs have experience in using Self-Access Center (SAC) for storing, organizing, and
retrieving resources. Lesson can be applied from organizing and managing a SAC since the
new requirement arising from the widespread use of IT as part of TELL strategy.

Time as a resource

Managing other people’s time

A major area of an academic manager’s responsibilities is timetabling or scheduling. In

large LTO, this task may be delegated to an administrative staff member. However, the
academic manager still has the responsibility for ensuring that there is a match between
classes to be taught, availability of the rooms, equipment and teachers.

An experienced academic manager, when asked to summarize his/her approach to

timetabling, came up with the following points:

 Know what your teachers can handle

 Hire flexible teacher (not just in experience of level, but in dealing with change)
 Stretch the teacher a little bit so they are used to change and can handle crises
 Get the teacher to change classes every session
 Get them to accept that a new student starting in their class each week is a positive for
the class
 Always have two different teachers per class
 Try to have a variety of male/female, more mature/young, or strict/easy teachers for each

Phillips (2000) views timetabling as “the key resource management tool in language
school”, as it brings together all the key resources that must be managed by the manager:
teaching staff, supervisory staff, classes, rooms, time, and physical resources such as videos,
OHP, etc. He proposed “Resource management timetable” as described below:
This timetable can be set up to consolidate information which will be used for analysis and
managing teachers’ time and other resources. It can total up the number of hours for each
teacher as well as for teachers for the day or the week and the month.

Average class size is a basic metric including class hour income, the number of teachers’
hours and associated cost and the profit of each class. A lot of pressure will be faced by the
academic manager dealing with the commercial reasons and maintaining a target average
class size. To solve these two challenges is not easy and it depends on the nature of the offer
made to the customer and the customer’ expectations.

A wide range level of the class makes teacher work more difficult. Therefore it is
necessary to define the different level of each student based on their level of knowledge
or intake. In this situation, the academic manager may consider developing a policy and
practice to deal with the diversification.

The scheme proposed by Philips dealing with how timetabling concerned with the
management of resources within the LTO. It is obvious that the key sources are time,
skills and commitment. Therefore, they need to be managed wisely and efficiently.

Managing your own time

Scheduling is dealing with governing other people’s time within all the requirements of
the LTO activities. An academic manager has a lot of things to do and their job should
not be static because there are a large number of ongoing changes in the LTO.

When the level of management hierarchy is getting higher, the responsibilities also
become broader. For instance, when someone moving from the position of senior teacher
to the academic manager, he will have responsibility for a decision which affects the
work of everyone.

There are several system and advice for managing time, including electronic time
planner. All depend on:

o Clarifying goals for the day, week and month

o Distinguish between urgent and important activities
o Make a priority about the urgency/importance matter
o Allocating time to meeting
o Maintaining time limits and meeting deadline

Some managers sometimes tend to choose the ‘open door’ policy but it is also necessary
if in a certain time they want to uninterrupted in certain activities so they will apply or
they will close the door. This important to be done because managing your own time also
including make a limitation for other people to disturb our activity.

E. Professional Development
For the work of LTO, good teaching is most important thing but it does not just happen
accidentally. The selection and appointment of a good teacher deal with the academic and
HRM. Once appointed, the new teacher will need support through orientation, mentoring,
provision of materials and resources, observation and feedback, appraisal, and further

Teacher observation

Observation is a part of academic management. Usually, a teacher like to work

independently in their classroom, yet being observed is intrusive and potentially threatening
because mostly it is treated as a form of inspection, not as a part of professional support and
development. Teacher observation should be :

o Involve agreed and clear criteria

o Be carried out by trained staff
o Include preparation and follow up
o Have provision for mentoring and support for teachers needing help
o Involve agreed on records which are part of a teacher’s personal file and professional

This means that the academic manager must make sure that:

o The observation is adequately resourced with time and competent staff

o It is scheduled in advanced as a part of an annual program.
o It is part of the whole teachers’ job description
o It is part of new teacher induction.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CDP differs from in-service training (or INSET) because it is part of Total Quality
Management (TQM) which extends and develops the concept of quality assurance through
the creation of a quality culture to demand every member to please, gladden and satisfy
customers while the commitment to continuous improvement is achieved through CPD.
For every teacher, the type of CPD will vary based on their professional development
stage and their job achievement. This is in line with what is described by Huberman (1993)
who define several stages of teachers’ careers. He found that teacher who seeks diversity in
classroom teaching or having flexibility skill usually attain a higher level of satisfaction.
Moreover, stretching and extending a teacher teaching repertoire is at the core of CPD.
Professional development should have an impact by being:

 Innovative  useful
 Memorable  informative
 Practical  stimulating
 Convincing  transferable
 Hands-on  motivating
 Entertaining  team-building
An important responsibility of the academic manager is making CPD opportunities is
available although CPD is ultimately the responsibility of the individual. In accordance with
Richard and Farrell (2005): in PD there is a wide range of activities which can be deployed,
from the workshop to action research to teaching portfolios.

F. Managing Quality

For consumers of teaching and other services of an Language Teaching Organization

(LTO), what the LTO provides is their definition of quality. This experience will have been
initiated by the kinds of promise that the LTOs made in its promotional material. Since
language teaching and learning is at the heart of what the LTO provides, it makes sense to be
as clear and explicit as possible in making the offer. Increasingly, LTOs are representing
this part of their offer in terms of competencies organized by level, providing students with a
guide to their existing and desired levels.
An example of the specification is found on the Eurocentres website. The Eurocentres
scale is aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning,
Teaching Assessment (CEFR), Council for Cultural Co-operation, Council of Europe (2001).
This divides learners into three broad division A, B, and C.

Basic User Breakthrough (A1)

Waystage (A2)
Independent User Threshold (B1)
Vantage (B2)
Proficient User Effective Operational Proficiency (C1)
Mastery (C2)

Level 10 - Achieve a precise, differentiated expression of thoughts

and opinions in anatural style
- Argue your case and negotiate skillfully C2
- Write virtually flawless essays and reports
Level 9 - Fell fully comfortable in the language and develop a This level is
personal style important for
- Put across complex points of view in meetings, study at
seminars, reports, presentations university C1
Level 8 - Intervene in a discussion appropriately
- Develop idea systematically
- Emphasize specific points in meetings, seminars,
reports, presentations
Level 7 - Keep up with a lively discussion among native speakers Employers
And interaction spontaneously and comfortably value
- Present and defend your own point of view examination
- Reliably pass on detailed information certificates on B2
Level 6 - Participate actively in longer discussions this level
- Describe problems in detail
- React to the comments of others
- Talk on the phone without difficulty
Level 5 - Join in a conversation unprepared From this
- Formulate thoughts level you can
- Monitor and pass on information use the
- Give detailed information language in B1
Level 4 - Maintain a conversation and chat with friends the workplace
- Respond flexibly to different situations
- Express feelings
Level 3 - Make yourself understood in predictable everyday
- Obtain specific information
- Describe events and personal experiences A2
Level 2 - Obtain simple information
- Understand answers to questions
- Discuss what to do
- Describe activities
Level 1 - Simple communication on holiday
- Make reservation in hotels
- Get what you need in restaurant and shops A1
Level 0 - No knowledge

The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening,

speakingng and writing at each level, in detail, specified as series of ‘can do” statements, as
in this example for level C2:

Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize
information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and
accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently
and porecisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situation.
(CEFR Global Scale)
As consumers, students (and their sponsors – typically parents or employers) will want to
be given an indication on their progress. 22sin1ce CEFR is too detailed for such purposes,
simplification can be taken, as illustrated in the following report on a student’s progress from

Reading 3.5 Writing 3.3

Listening 3.5 Speaking 3.5

Attitude to Study Attendance and Punctuality Progress

Excellent √ √
Very good √

The second example, from LTO B indicates a concern with the interests of the consumer
(the learner) and their sponsor (Parent of Employer). The example also suggests that the
management of the LTO is concerned with quality. As far as academic management is
concern, such a focus on quality involves having:

 A clear and shared view of what is involved in language learning and teaching vision,
mission, philosophy, objectives
 High levels of competence in being able to provide effective learning opportunities:
knowledge, skills and motivation of staff

The following is the example of LTO B Report

Grammar B+ Always asks questions to clarify new grammar points and

makes an effort to use them
Vocabulary B+ Records and remembers vocabulary well and tries to apply
it in spoken and written work
Speaking & B Quite fluent but could stretch himself more
Listening A Listening skills are above average for this level
Reading A Reading comprehension above average for this level and
makes good use of techniques learned throughout the
Writing B Always completes work; his fluency and style are
Homework & A Completes all homework deadline, good at working
Self-Study independently, attends all exam practice session
Attitude & Effort B As he prefers to work by himself, he sometimes finds
group work difficult

 Adequate resources and system to support such provision: system for new product
development, evaluation, assessment, staff training and development
 Ways of measuring the efficiency and the effectiveness of such systems, including
placement, progress and achievement tests.

Managing quality should not mean setting up complex processes, systems, checklists and
measures as an end in themselves. Many of the measurement system are likely already to be
in place, although the data may not have been used for evaluating quality. For example, the
process and outcome of new product development involves the following measures:

 The number of new products under development

 The progress of development
 The number of new products which have been launched
 Their success as measured by students volume, satisfaction and achievement

Many of these can be expressed as ratios (typically percentages); for example, what is the
ratio of new (or improved) products to existing ones? Such ratios also provide ways of
making comparisons with sector benchmarks, and they are also indicative of innovativeness,
as a very low ratio of new developments in progress or launched will be characteristic of an
LTO which is probably stuck in the mud.

G. Conclusion
The job of academic manager is a particularly comprehensive one. Although assigning
staff and scheduling classes will be a significant part of day-to-day, operational work, it is
important that the academic manager has the opportunity to look beyond these operational
concerns to take account of the broader resource management and product development
needs of the LTO, as well as the professional development needs of staff. These aspects must
be given due attention if the LTO is to fulfill both its educational and commercial goals.
Academic management also involves responding to changes in the market, identifying
innovations and successfully implementing them.