Transformative Leadership Journeys: Learning and Identity of University Leaders of Engaged Scholarship
Keywords:leadership, accountability, ethics, transformative learning, transformative leadership, identity transformation, community-engaged scholarship, agentic practice, ethic of care, values congruence, narrative inquiry, moral courage, authentic leadership
University-community engagement (UCE) researchers have developed taxonomies, frameworks and practices for the field, but have not deeply considered issues of social, cultural, political, geographical and economic dimensions of theory and practice in institutions and their communities, including faculty, staff, and senior leadership. These dimensions may include institutional and personal history, such as religious affiliations; epistemology; forms of leadership; power structures; and social locations, among others. These cultural forms are reflected in institutional discourse, for example the narratives of engagement actors, and can be expressed in a variety of cultural artifacts including personal stories of praxis. Leading community engagement efforts is a transformative values-driven activity; we believe that transformative leadership is a process of continual, transformative learning, which is fundamentally a process of identity transformation. The narratives of six institutional leaders of community-engaged scholarship (CES) in higher education are examined for how their various scholarly and professional identities have developed through transformative learning processes), revealing themes of serendipity, moral coherence, values congruence, agentic change, moral courage, authenticity, relational practice and generativity that integrate these stories.