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Recruiting Presidential Leadership

Recruiting Presidential Leadership

(p.143) 12 Recruiting Presidential Leadership
Saving Alma Mater
Ernst R. Berndt
University of Chicago Press

Presidential leadership is so crucial to the well-being of colleges and universities that trustees should do everything possible to maximize the chances of picking the right person for the job. Doing so, however, means resisting the academic forces that would advance candidates unsuited to a changing environment, and instead identifying those who have the decisiveness, insight, and strong hand that the job now requires. This is not an easy assignment. Not only may trustees have to work around ingrained campus practices and traditions, but also they must subject candidates to a different and more intense kind of scrutiny than has been the norm. In essence, they have to think deeply about the future needs of their institution and then look beyond a candidate's public demeanor and interviewing skills to assess the qualities that are germane to those needs. Unless trustees can solve the problem of identifying and recruiting leaders who have the right mix of experience and instinct, then they have little hope of positioning their institution for the practical realities of the new century.

Keywords:   public universities, college education, higher education, trustees, recruitment, knowledge level, presidential leadership

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