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Leadership for Academic Units: A Performance Improvement Model for Department Chairs, Deans, and Academic Vice Presidents (and those who aspire to be) by William Swart

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Needs Assessment and Analysis

Needs assessment is defined as the formal process of identifying needs as gaps between current and desired results, placing those needs in priority order based on the cost to meet each one versus the cost for ignoring it, and selecting the most important needs (problems or opportunities) for reduction or elimination (Kaufman, 1998, 2000, 2006).

Unlike most approaches to needs and needs assessment, we will focus on results (and consequences), and not means, resources, and activities. The methodology is illustrated using two columns, as shown in Figure 3-1: One column is for “What Is” and one for “What Should Be” where ratings are given for each of a number of statements, typically on a Likert scale. The variables ...

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