Asee peer logo

The Problems Of Administrative Success And Strategies For Overcoming Them

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Project Management and Team Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1318.1 - 10.1318.5



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Jerry Westbrook

Download Paper |

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

their track record for attracting grants to do basic research. Dr. Wentz was advised to apply for National Science Foundation grants and to phase out of local industry support activities. Other faculty members in the department were actively discouraged from working on Wentz’s industry projects. No one in the upper administration was willing to support Wentz’s industry initiatives.

After reviewing the situation, Dr. Wentz still hasn’t determined whether to seek a position with another university or to attempt to comply with the chancellor’s mandate.

Success Environment Measure The assessment instrument would indicate the following scores. Attribute 1, Goals - 1 Attribute 2, Support - 1 Attribute 3, Peer Support - 1 Attribute 4, Access to Technology - 3 Attribute 5, Support of “Godfathers” - 1 Success Environment Measure – 7

Conclusion: low probability for success.

Potential Strategies If the use of the assessment instrument reveals a score of less than 15, as in the cases above, significant changes are called for.

Most successful unit managers will use the strategy of doing the same things with greater effort. Work longer hours. Write reports to prove worth of the program. Show money generated, budget outlays. Try to change the minds of higher administration. This type of strategy seldom works but it is usually the first one tried. Strategies that better address the real problem are shown below.

1. Start the process to change to an organization that would give your program a high priority. 2. Stop “tilting windmills”. Seek another internal position where less effort is required. Consult or do research in the time available. See if it is possible to do less until retirement. 3. Seek to place the program in a more favorable portion of the current organization. There may be more entrepreneurial units in the organization that would welcome such a program. 4. Take early retirement if possible while attempting #1 above. 5. Above all, recognize the problem of why success has stalled and take some action. Do something.

JERRY WESTBROOK Dr. Westbrook is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he served as Chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Department and Director of Distance Learning. He held similar positions with the University of Tennessee where he was also Associate Dean for Off Campus Programs. He is a past President for the American Society for Engineering Management, and he currently serves on its Board of Directors.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education & Exposition Copyright 2005©, American Society for Engineering Education

Westbrook, J. (2005, June), The Problems Of Administrative Success And Strategies For Overcoming Them Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14504

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015