How can institutions improve presidential transitions?
- Former presidents can be invaluable allies in helping a campus and a new campus leader adjust during a transition period, as detailed alongside four other transitional tips from University Business for avoiding awkward or partial exchanges of campus leadership.
- Strategies also include the immediate appointment of a transition team, for legal matters tied to the previous administration to be fully resolved and for campuses to allow a honeymoon phase for the new administration to learn institutional culture and priorities.
- Helping leaders to understand which senior staff members are essential to keep for institutional stability is another key lesson to be passed from one administration to another.
The early notion for most incoming presidents, and particularly first-time campus leaders, is to bring a team of trustworthy people and to get rid of all projects and ideas tied to the previous administration. But wise leaders understand that those ideas and initiatives sometimes involved countless hours committed by employees who are still at the school and should not be cast aside in the name of legacy-shaping.
Incoming presidents, trustees and senior staff should work together to identify the best practices and areas for troubleshooting that, when considering the new leader's personality, are likely to help to create immediate opportunities for trust building throughout the campus, as well as pathways to positive reactions from key stakeholders.
- University Business Next in line for the college presidency