Presidential Leadership “Churn” and the SIO
By John D. Heyl, PhD
IEL Founder and Editor
Posted June 8, 2017
It is a commonplace in the middle management experience and literature that changes at the top have consequences. One is reminded of Jack Van de Water’s now famous cri de coeur: “the arrival of a new president and a new provost . . . should be equated to moving to a new institution. Most all the work done previously to establish credibility with the central administration is ‘out the window.’”1
SIOs are not alone, of course, in being impacted by a change in senior leadership. In effect, all aspects of campus life may well be (re)shaped by a new personality, with a unique set of professional and institutional background and ambitions to be a change agent at the campus level.
This is why Rick Seltzer’s piece in Inside Higher Education (June 7, 2017), caught my eye: “Swift and Silent Exits.” Seltzer notes that, although data is not readily available, it is generally understood that the typical college president’s tenure has become shorter in recent years, likely shorter than the seven years that ACE reported in 2011.
Why is this so?
Each case presents a different (probably unique) set of circumstances, so it is risky to generalize. Seltzer offers several broad factors:
> The more active role of Boards of Directors, especially Board members with business
> cont'd. at right
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