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Presidential Transition in Higher Education

, 288 pages
September 2004



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Presidential Transition in Higher Education

Managing Leadership Change

Once rare, presidential transitions at institutions of higher education now command the attention of about one-quarter of the nation's colleges and universities at any given time. Though they occur frequently, transitions at this level are hardly routine, and American higher education has not developed a tradition of managing this process proactively. Here, James Martin and James E. Samels bring together a distinguished group of higher education professionals to provide the first comprehensive guidebook to managing change at the top.

Presidents, administrators, trustees, faculty, and others involved in a change in leadership will benefit from this wide-ranging discussion of the issues combined with specific action plans for the busy professional. The volume's contributors address proactive management, best practices for sudden transitions, and how campuses can turn challenges into opportunities. Also addressed are executive search firms, the interim president, boards of trustees, presidential spouses, and public relations.

Contributors: Lee J. Betts, Frederick (MD) Community College; Charles Brown, Stanford University; Jean A. Dowdall, Whitt-Kieffer; E. K. Fretwell Jr., University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie Corporation; Allen E. Koenig and Thomas H. Langevin, The Registry for College and University Presidents; Steven Muller, The Johns Hopkins University; Arthur Padilla, North Carolina State University; John Ross, George Dehne & Associates Integrated Services; Patricia Stanley, Frederick (MD) Community College; Thomas J. and Scottie Trebon, Carroll College; William A. Weary, Fieldstone Consulting, Inc.; Nancy L. Zimpher, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

James Martin is a professor of English at Mount Ida College and academic vice president of The Education Alliance. James E. Samels is president of The Education Alliance and founder of Samels Associates, a law firm concentrating in higher education law. They are the authors of Merging Colleges for Mutual Growth: A New Strategy for Academic Managers (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993) and First Among Equals: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

"A comprehensive and exhaustive treatment of the transition process and period, well supplemented by insights into more established presidencies."

"Essays detailing the finer points of presidential change, from the role of the board to the use of an executive search firm to the changing role of the presidential spouse."

"No one to my knowledge has brought the thinking on presidential transitions together in a scholarly work that equals this volume... This insiders' view is enlightening, useful, and well worth the time and energy required to digest the many observations and suggestions."

"Of interest and value to individuals who have a stake in the effectiveness and welfare of colleges and universities and their executive leadership."

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