Narcissistic vice-chancellors produce bad outcomes – Study

The appointment of a highly narcissistic vice-chancellor leads to a deterioration in research performance and student satisfaction, as well as a decline on league table rankings, a new study has found, writes Julie Hare for the Australian Financial Review.

Narcissistic university bosses are also more likely to engage in excessive financial risk taking and empire building during their tenure, leaving the institution in worse condition than when they started. However, universities with strong governance oversight and structures can temper some of the worst traits of narcissistic vice-chancellors.

The study by four UK-based academics, published in the journal Research Policy, notes that literature into narcissistic leaders is concentrated in the corporate sector. No previous study looking at vice-chancellors had been undertaken. But over the timeframe examined in the paper – 2010 to 2020 – there was an observable trend to more narcissistic personality types being appointed to leadership roles in universities.
Full report on the Australian Financial Review site