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The job description of today’s university president increasingly resembles that of a CEO, with the molding of young minds and overseeing a community of scholars taking a distinct backseat to balancing the books and raising cash, academic analysts say.As the ongoing clash at the University of Virginia demonstrates, college presidents are expected, by their boards and by the public, to make hard choices and trim costs wherever possible.That has led some universities, faced with greater financial challenges and more competition than ever, to look outside the scholarly world, to those with strong business or even political backgrounds, for their next president.On Thursday, Indiana’s Purdue bagged one of the state’s biggest political heavyweights, announcing that Gov. Mitch Daniels will take over that school’s presidency when he leaves the governor’s mansion in six months.It was the latest evidence that, for many schools, the traditional school president with the academic resume is, in many cases, no longer enough.“The most striking change has been an increasing number of presidents coming from backgrounds that are not academic. They’re coming from law, from business, and they don’t have an understanding of a commitment to the academic enterprise,” said Robert Kreiser, senior program officer with the American Association of University Presidents(AAUP). “Their emphasis has to do with corporate values. More and more, unfortunately, they’re seen not as educators, but as managers and fundraisers.”
Friday, June 22, 2012
Shift in Desired Credentials for University Presidents - From Scholars to CEOs
From Ben Wolfgang for The Washington Times: