OP-ED: No Equal in the World: Leadership Advice for New College Presidents
by L. Jay Lemons, President of Susquehanna University
The college presidency has become a high-risk occupation. All the old challenges - fundraising, strategic planning, managing enrollment, protecting students - are all still there, along with newer trials: navigating demographic shifts and flat-lining family incomes, ensuring access, assuring compliance to growing governmental regulation, and understanding the absurdity of various rankings including those promised by the U.S. Department of Education. The list goes on and on.
It's a wonder anyone wants to do it, and yet, the ranks of new college presidents continue to swell. According to the Association of American Universities, annual turnover among presidents is 15 percent, a number that will only grow as American college presidents age (the current average is 61 years old).