International Journal of
Educational Administration and Policy Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Educ. Admin. Pol. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6656
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEAPS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 239

Full Length Research Paper

Demystifying the Ivory tower syndrome in universities through the use of transformational leadership

V. F. Peretomode
  • V. F. Peretomode
  • Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Faculty of Education, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 28 October 2020
  •  Accepted: 02 December 2020
  •  Published: 31 January 2021


One of the major criticisms of top management in universities in most African countries is arguably the isolation of both top management team and intellectuals from the real problems and issues of the real world and business of universities. This disconnect, often referred to as the Ivory tower syndrome, has become a source of concern. Based on experience, observations over the years on administrative practices of vice chancellors and an extensive review of the literature on the nature of the university, Ivory Tower Syndrome, and transformational leadership, ideas derived therefrom are analyzed and thereafter fine threads are synthesized in this study. The integrated ideas helped to highlight the factors responsible for the persistence of the Ivory Tower Syndrome in universities. How the characteristics of transformational leadership can be used to eliminate, or at least, reduce this isolation from the people - staff and students - at the bottom of the ladder with their problems which often lead to strikes and other crisis situations are discussed. Social connectedness is recommended as a strategy that should be imbedded in university governance in Nigeria.


Key words: Higher education institution, hierarchical disconnects, intellectual isolation, leadership theories, social connectedness, transformational leadership, universities.