Hardcover ✓ Presidencies Derailed PDF µ

Presidencies Derailed University presidents have become as expendable as football coaches—one bad season scandal or political or financial misstep and they are sent packing A derailed presidency can undermine an institution's image damage its alumni relations and destroy campus morale but it can also cost millions of dollars During 2009 and 2010 fifty college university and system presidents either resigned retired prematurely or were firedThese high profile campus appointments are increasingly scrutinized by faculty administrators alumni and the media and problems emerge all too publicly A combination of constrained resources and a trend toward hiring from outside of academia results in tensions between governing boards and presidents that can uickly erupt Sometimes presidents are dismissed for performance financial or institutional fit reasons but there are nearly always political reasons as well The details of these employment situations often masked by confidentially clauses increasingly emerge as social networks and traditional media buzz with speculationFormer university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg along with Gerald B Kauvar and former chancellor E Grady Bogue examine what can go wrong—and indeed has—and who in academic institutions has the responsibility to address these issues before things get out of hand Presidencies Derailed is the first book to explore in depth from every sector of higher education the reasons why university presidencies fail and how university and college leadership can prevent these unfortunate situations from happening Part schadenfreude part cautionary tale this is a study of failed university presidents in redacted case studies and in the reflections of people like William Frawley who chose to write op eds about his behavior at Mary Washington Whether it is being out of step with the local community the institution's faith tradition antagonizing faculty being unable to work with a board not working within a system wide structure having industry experience rather than academic track recordthere are many ways to crash and burn including straight up nepotism fraud and misuse of public funds What the author offers is cases on which to reflect not advice on how to avoid the pitfalls but since I am never likely to be a college President I can just watch the carnage and try to guess who the thinly veiled case studies are and the untold destruction they've caused to people's careers and communities' relationships with the schools Leading institutions of higher education is a formidable endeavor Presidencies Derailed is rooted in research and feedback the authors dive into 6 areas trends that have occurred in derailments Some the fault of the president some by products of the context culture of the institutions and others the result of board shortcomings An eye opening read Board members are obliged as a body and as individuals to become familiar with good governance and the principles of academic freedom and free inuiry as well as the particular culture of their institution its history mission and aspirations As higher education as all too freuently has failed to develop programs to socialize new faculty so too have boards ignored their responsibility to develop orientation programs to acuaint new board members with the culture of academia and the traditions of their individual institution or system The board should also devote attention to reminding continuing board members of the obligations limits and constraints on their power and authority In shhort boards must be vigilant in practicing good governance p 115 Although this book lays out a variety of reasons presidencies fail including missing goals poor relationship skills and cultural competence in the sense of adapting to a new academic environment the overwhelming takeaway is the critical role of the governing board in successful presidencies The book itself is a series of chapters contributed by various authors in two cases derailed presidents themselves There are four chapters organized around types of schools with sample derailments illustrating various themes; the organization breaks down somewhat from there as every example demonstrates multiple factors that lead to derailment The second section on averting derailment has two ideas good searches and good governance There aren't brilliant insights points for rumination that would be useful for board member education but there is not much applicable for anyone outside of the board For the majority of the chapters the overall structure is what I am going to say narrative table and here is what I said which gets tedious reading straight through the book but does make it much easier to dip in and out at random The attempt to explore the black box of presidential derailments is a good idea but I was left unsatisfiedthe black box nature of the problem of failed presidencies traps this book at a level of generality that is most useful for individuals without strong organizational leadership background in higher education

  • Hardcover
  • 184 pages
  • Presidencies Derailed
  • Stephen Joel Trachtenberg
  • English
  • 01 April 2016
  • 9781421410241

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