By Stephen J. Nelson
Leaders within the Labyrinth sheds gentle on how presidents behavior the effect and gear in their place of work, in particular within the use in their pulpits, how they navigate problems with political correctness, and the way they carry the guts of the collage jointly, in contentious instances and opposed to competing ideological forces. Nelson has formulated a accomplished photo of the tenor, abilities, and temperaments crucial for todayOs presidency, when you aspire to imagine management sooner or later and when you decide on the leaders of our faculties and universities.
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Additional info for Leaders in the Labyrinth: College Presidents and the Battleground of Creeds and Convictions (ACE Praeger Series on Higher Education)
5. For a full account of this episode, see Nelson, Leaders in the Crucible, pp. 42–44. 6. Mary Sue Coleman, interview by author. 7. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president, George Washington University, interview by author, May 7, 2003. 8. I draw on a number of sources for the material about President Laney, among them the work of Stuart Gulley noted below (n. 16) and a video documentary, Leading Out, The Hunt for Dollars 21 produced by James Ault (James Ault Productions, Northampton, MA, 1994). In the Ault video, a number of Laney’s upper level administrators, senior faculty, recent alumni, and trustees are interviewed for their perspectives about his leadership.
It is an approach that belies the horn-rimmed glasses, bow tie, tweed jacket look of the academic, the intellectual, the professor. As with most colleges and universities, the external world of Carleton and Kenyon is significantly centered on alumni and parents as critical constituencies to be served. With these groups, as well as in general, “the chief obligation and chief time devotion is fund-raising,” Oden acknowledges. He continues: “[I]n my case, since I particularly like that, it doesn’t feel like a pressure or a sore point or a demand on my time.
Though not absolutely universal, there is strong commonality in the issues faced and the concerns with which college presidents grapple and battle. All of them regularly must choose how and when to make their voice visible and heard in the public square. There are indeed many places to begin the story about the realities and choices embedded in the presidency. We will start by painting a broad picture of the leadership of presidents. This ethos and the “big picture” challenges of its climate for college and university presidents set the context for the expectations and responsibilities constituting today’s presidency.