Addressing Adaptive Challenges

Higher education institutions often face adaptive challenges—complex problems that need to be addressed through an evolutionary approach that uses investigation, learning, and assessment of a diversity of ideas rather than relying on administrative authority. James Mabry, vice president of academic affairs at Mesa Community College, has employed the adaptive leadership model of Ronald Heifetz to address a common adaptive problem—student success. Because there are so many factors that go into student success and many ways to measure it, there needs to be input from stakeholders.

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