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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). 



AICUP Featured Photo









Dr. Lewis Thayne, President of Lebanon Valley College, presented the independent college perspective to educators and business leaders at the Pennsylvania Business Education Partnership (PBEP) annual conference.   Dr. Thayne was on a panel which included a state university president and a community college president.


Did You Know?


Top Origins of First-Time, Degree-Seeking Students Migrating to Pennsylvania to Attend a College or University, Fall 2012

 Rank  State  Students
 1  New Jersey  9,521
 2  New York  5,392
 3  Foreign Countries  3,497
 4  Maryland  2,914
 5  Ohio  1,439
 6  California  1,340
 7  Connecticut  1,280
 8  Massachusetts  1,165
 9  Virginia  1,004
 10  Delaware  731


In the fall of 2012, a total of 33,673 students traveled to Pennsylvania from other states or from overseas to enroll in a college or university located here. Of those 33,673 students migrating to Pennsylvania, 68 percent enrolled in a private college or university.