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On Being Presidential: A Guide for College and University Leaders

ISBN: 978-1-118-02776-9
240 pages
November 2011, Jossey-Bass
US $45.00 Add to Cart

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Education, Jossey-Bass


February 29, 2012
San Francisco, CA

On Being Presidential: A Guide for College and University Leaders

On Being Presidential: A Guide for College and University Leaders

San Francisco, CA - Although academic leadership has always been demanding, in recent decades it has become more so. As the cost of higher education escalates, so does the demand from parents and students for amenities and services. The economic downturn has required that presidents, vice presidents, and deans not only understand the academic enterprise but that they can lead successful strategic planning processes. These senior administrators are also expected to allocate and reallocate resources in a fiscally responsible way, sometimes laying off faculty and staff, eliminating programs and cutting departmental budgets, salaries, and benefits. Presidents are further expected to position the institution more advantageously, tell its story to both external and internal audiences in an articulate and persuasive way, raise money, and be “present” on campus.

On campuses and among trustees there is often a lack of understanding of what the president does (and should do), the larger issues facing the institution, and issues that the president grapples with on a daily basis. This lack of understanding too tends to be accompanied by confusion about the appropriate role and responsibilities not only of the faculty but also of the president and the trustees. As a result, the faculty, administration, and the board can find themselves at odds over governance, which can paralyze institutions and lead to failed presidencies.

Adequate training is hard to come by and applicable experience more and more rare. This book provides presidents, senior administrators, faculty leaders, and trustees with a guide to fulfilling their responsibilities and recommendations to aspiring presidents about how they can best prepare for a successful presidency.