- Pressure from internal and external stakeholders and fundraising demands are forcing high turnover numbers in college presidencies.
- However, a report from the American Council on Education reveals that fewer than one-third of sitting provosts have interest in becoming a college president.
- The Washington Post suggests college presidents prioritize vision, strategic communication and attention to data as tenets of the profession.
The single biggest asset any college or university president can bring to a campus is an appreciation for and thirst to study campus culture. Seemingly, the high turnover of college presidents, particularly on small and mid-sized campuses, is connected to the failure for leaders to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for all stakeholders with any credible voice on campus, and why making these communities feel valued and supported by the university’s top office is important.
Certain elements like athletics, finance and student affairs are staples of presidential challenges, but understanding the expectations around those areas when paired with the available wealth and governmental support that surrounds a campus gives better perspective on how to lead, and to be led, by the campus mission.