Date of Conferral







Steven Tippins


Current reports estimate that 1 in 5 unit coordinators at universities resign each year. When it comes to management of talent, universities lag behind other industries. The problem is university leaders lack empirical ways of identifying future leaders to ensure the survival and growth of the institution. The purpose of this study was to understand how university teachers demonstrate formal leadership potential by uncovering the main behavioral patterns, personal characteristics, tasks, and relationship-building activities of teachers that enable them to become excellent candidates for leading a department. With the Leadership Potential BluePrint as a conceptual framework, a multiple-case study design fostered the collection of data through in-depth interviews with 20 unit coordinators at universities in Lebanon. The results of a multiple-case and cross-case analysis suggest that successful unit coordinators are interpersonally skilled, collegial, emotionally mature, resilient, multitasking, driven, open, assertive, and cognitively intelligent. In terms of behaviors, they ensure an abundance of interactions, encourage teamwork, build consensus, delegate tasks and responsibilities, hold an open-door policy, motivate, inspire and develop others, ensure their physical presence in the department, foster an environment of honesty and transparency, and build trust in the workplace. This study is likely to produce a positive impact on university teachers' professional opportunities and students' postgraduate lives because of a better access to and development of unit coordinators.