The presidential search process in higher education

The presidential search process can be a time of optimism for the institution or has the potential to bog down the college while waiting for a new leader. Unfortunately, we know very little about the presidential search process in higher education despite the growing challenges facing presidents today. Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the long-awaited report, American College President Study 2017. The ACE president studies are the most comprehensive available and provide a wealth of insights into the presidency. In a series of posts (the first post considered demographics), I am going to consider the major findings of the study and the implications for higher education. In today’s post, I will examine the college president search process in higher education to see what insights can be gained and additional research questions need to be considered.

The presidential search process in higher education

Installation of University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds. Photo credit: UNL

The demographics of college presidents

Higher education has a diversity problem. I suspect most of us know that higher education leaders are often older, white men. Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the long-awaited report, American College President Study 2017. The ACE president studies are the most comprehensive available and provide a wealth of insights into the presidency. In a series of posts, I am going to consider the major findings of the study and the implications for higher education. In today’s post, I will examine the demographics of college presidents to see how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.

The demographics of college presidents

Drew Faust was an exception as a woman leading Harvard. Photo credit: Encycopedia Britannica

Controversy surrounding college athletics history class at UNC

As the University of North Carolina continues to seek an end of the athletics controversy that has roiled campus for more than six years, the removal of a history class on athletics from the fall schedule has raised governance questions. I argued that much of the controversy at UNC centered around governance problems at the institution and the decision to cut the athletics course has many asking if UNC still has a governance issue on campus. In today’s post, I want to discuss the facts behind the case and the relevant governance issues at play in the case.

Controversy surrounding college athletics history class at UNC

Photo credit: goheels.com

The current controversy is focused on the class, “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present.” 

Ten Years Since the Shooting at Virginia Tech

April 16, 2007 is one of those dates of national tragedy that seem to mark a point in time where we can say things will never be the same again. It has been ten years since that horrific day when a mentally troubled student at Virginia Tech shot and killed 32 and wounded 17 more. In today’s post, I want to remember the events of April 16th and reflect on where we’ve come in higher education since that time.

Ten Years Since the Shooting at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Memorial – Photo Credit: Alan Levine

There was Columbine before and Sandy Hook after (and countless other tragedies throughout), but the shooting at Virginia Tech was an event that shocked the nation generally and higher education specifically.

I suspect all of us that were teaching during that time wondered what we would do if that had happened to one of our classes.

There was anger, frustration, and above all, sadness.

The Future of University Credentials

American higher education today may be influenced more by hiring and vocational outcomes than any other time in history. Policy makers, students, and families look to postsecondary education to improve their chances of getting hired. A new book by Sean Gallagher looks at these issues and provides a thoughtful analysis of the future of university credentials. In today’s post, I want to share a book review of his work for those that may be interested in learning more about this important topic.

Photo credit: Franck Michel