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Articles: Leadership

Elon University President Leo Lambert will deliver the opening keynote at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas in June.

Innovation is a word with many connotations. For some, it suggests technological advancement, while for others it is discovering new approaches to old problems. For Elon University President Leo Lambert, it is a continual push for improvement, both institutionally and professionally.

At the University of South Florida, current and former scholarship recipients were among those who signed a giant thank-you card presented to donors Barron and Dana Collier during a ceremony announcing their latest major gift.

Smart advancement teams put thought and research into making stewardship individual and heartfelt. But how far will institutions bend on their mission when a donor offers big bucks? Are donors negotiating for honorary degrees, access to students, influence over scholarships or a leg up in recruiting graduates?

Cynthia Brandenburg is an associate professor and the immediate past president of the faculty senate at Champlain College. Mike Kelly is an assistant professor and the current president of the Champlain’s faculty senate.

As faculty members at a small, tuition-driven private college in the northeast, the familiar refrain of contemporary higher education in shambles rings in our heads.

How will our college’s low-endowment—combined with less than optimal name recognition—reconcile with the declining number of high school graduates in our region? How will the arms race of amenities and the pressures of increased regulations direct the college’s scarce, but stable, resources to places outside the classroom?

President Freeman Hrabowski, who marched in Martin Luther King's civil rights protests of the 1960s, drives the University of Maryland, Baltimore County students to diversify the STEM world.  In the mean time, he has transformed the institution familiarly known as UMBC from a commuter school into a renowned research university.

Thirty years ago, we knew that larger institutions would consume smaller, more fragile schools - pure mergers as they came to be known. Yet, during the early higher ed merger mania era, many found that consolidations of venerable institutions offered a creative and more equitable non-merger alternative – read as, Azusa Pacific University, Birmingham-Southern College, Carnegie Mellon University, Carson-Newman University, Case Western Reserve University, Clark Atlanta University, University of Detroit Mercy, and William and Hobart Smith Colleges.

The editors of UB magazine proudly present the 2016 Readers’ Choice Top Products, chosen from hundreds of nominations. This annual award programs alerts higher ed administrators and staff to the best products their peers use to achieve excellence at institutions throughout the country.

You—the nation’s higher ed leaders—submitted testimonials throughout 2015. Our editorial board carefully narrowed the list based on the quality and quantity of these testimonies.

Janet Dudley-Eshbach is president of Salisbury University in Maryland.

On a cold evening in December 2014, over 400 students, faculty and staff gathered quietly on the central plaza of Salisbury University’s Maryland campus. Chalked on the pavers were the silhouettes of 24 bodies.

As victim names were read, students proceeded to lie down within the outlines and observe several minutes of silence, remembering black men shot by white police officers. Somber remarks were followed by a quiet march of remembrance.

Carine Feyten, the chancellor and president of Texas Woman's University, says security will become a recruitment issue for students and their families.

Carine Feyten

Chancellor and president, Texas Woman's University

Topic: Safety and security

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University and former White House staffer, will deliver at keynote speech at UBTech 2016 in Las Vegas.

Michael R. Nelson, a professor of internet studies at Georgetown University, says innovation is about much more than just a good idea. It requires finding new ways to combine existing ideas, products and services into something that people will want. At the heart of that process is collaboration.

A sampling of responses to UB's Look Ahead surveys of campus leaders. (Click to enlarge infographic)

As we ring in 2016, higher education leaders have much to look forward to as well as, of course, much work to be done. Outlook 2016 is UB’s second annual special issue aimed at providing insight on the major trends expected to impact campus leaders in the year to come.

Kim E. Schatzel will leave the interim presidency at Eastern Michigan to take the top post at Townon University.

Kim E. Schatzel will begin her term as president of Towson University, one of the University System of Maryland’s 12 institutions, in late January.

Currently she serves as interim president, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University. There, she reorganized academic and student affairs to improve the student experience and developed a comprehensive degree completion and retention program.

For engineers, life has become increasingly complicated in the worlds of nanotechnology, lean manufacturing, and rapid product design and development. We learned from our research that engineering education can no longer deploy conventional, isolated solutions. Indeed, there is rarely an easy, one size fits all, cookie cutter answer in an environment that has uncountable moving parts and continuous technological change and innovation.

In the ongoing debate over the rising cost of higher education, collaboration frequently emerges as a proposed path forward. Despite the allure of savings and efficiencies, efforts to follow the strategy often fall victim to both conceptual and implementation flaws. Two institutions, a higher education association and private liberal arts college, have managed to navigate the tricky waters of collaboration to create a rewarding partnership. Our eight-year experience has taught us some key lessons that should be helpful to others.

Have you ever wondered why experts like Forbes and Bloomberg estimate that between 80-90 percent of entrepreneurial initiatives fail? American higher ed surely has, and universities are now investing in startups by connecting them to business incubators, product development accelerators, and other higher education-based launchpads. As small business entrepreneurs, we observed early on that many of our cohorts from college retreated to their campus caves (i.e. dorms) to go it alone – typically a bad decision.

Jay Lemons is president of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

The college presidency is a high-risk occupation. The old challenges—fundraising, strategic planning, managing enrollment, protecting students—are still there, along with newer trials involving demographic shifts, flatlining family incomes, access, and compliance to growing governmental regulation.

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