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Faculty Advisors' Management Styles And The Development Of Students' Leadership Capabilities

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.568.1 - 8.568.8



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Paper Authors

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Renee Rogge

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Joan Burtner

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Multimedia Session

Faculty Advisors' Management Style and the Development of Students' Leadership Capabilities

Joan Burtner and Renee Rogge

Mercer University School of Engineering


The Mercer University chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) received its charter in October 1992. The two authors have each served as advisors to the SWE group, and have observed that the duties of the faculty advisor to a student organization are not well defined and often need to be adjusted based on the personalities and leadership experience of the officers. This can be frustrating for faculty advisors, even experienced ones, as the role they must play changes from year to year. The situation is complicated further when the most appropriate leadership role conflicts with the management style of the faculty advisor. This paper serves as a case study of management styles and leadership roles in a voluntary organization and explores reasons for potential successes and failures.

I. Introduction

Student organizations are an important part of college life. Participation in student organizations gives students a chance to become involved in community service 1,2, meet people and become part of a community 2,3, develop leadership skills 2,4,5, improve teamwork skills 5, develop project management skills 5 and of course, give students an entry for their resume 3. Students who are members of student organizations are likely to express greater satisfaction with college 1,3. Furthermore, both members and officers may find that taking an active role in student organizations results in increased self-confidence 2. In their survey of women engineers and computer scientists, Robinson and Reilly 6 found that self-confidence was listed as the most important factor influencing professional success and advancement. Thus membership in student organizations provides both short-term and long-term benefits.

The role of faculty advisor to a student organization is not clearly defined. It may vary from year- to-year as a function of the needs of the organization. A survey of 258 faculty advisors conducted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) indicated that about 40% found the job to be fulfilling and rewarding, while 30% indicated that they "did not mind the job". 7 Close to 40% of the respondents indicated that their organizations were very active, including a significant commitment to community service. One-fourth reported that the organization was quite active, but did not have a strong commitment to community service. One-fourth felt that the organization's

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Rogge, R., & Burtner, J. (2003, June), Faculty Advisors' Management Styles And The Development Of Students' Leadership Capabilities Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11381

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