Intellectual leadership in higher education: renewing the role of the university professor

Bruce Macfarlane

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book


What is ?intellectual leadership? and how might this concept be better understood in the modern university? Drawing on research into the role of full or chair professors, this book argues that it is important to define and reclaim intellectual leadership as a counter-weight to the prevailing managerial culture of higher education. It contends that professors have been converted into narrowly defined knowledge entrepreneurs and often feel excluded or marginalised as leaders by their own universities. To fulfil their role professors need to balance the privileges of academic freedom with the responsibilities of academic duty. They exercise their academic freedom as critics and advocates but they also need to be mentors, guardians, enablers and ambassadors. Four orientations to intellectual leadership are identified: knowledge producer, academic citizen, boundary transgressor and public intellectual. These orientations are illustrated by reference to the careers of professors and show how intellectual leadership can be better understood as a transformational activity
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-56082-5, 978-0-415-56081-8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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