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Articles: Leadership

College presidents are using Twitter to interact with students and faculty.

College presidents, don’t worry—yet—if you only have three Twitter followers.

You don’t need to be a social media superstar right now. In the near future, however, active use of Twitter and Facebook may be a full-blown requirement, according to a study of tweeting in higher ed administration by Dan Zaiontz, a grad student at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Sidney A. Ribeauis leaving Howard University after five years in office.

On Oct. 1, Howard University (D.C.) President Sidney A. Ribeau announced his retirement from the historically black college after five years in office. He will leave the presidency at the end of December.

Ribeau signed a contract extension just this summer to serve until June 2015. Speculation is that debate over the health of the university and Ribeau’s management of it may be why he has stepped down suddenly. Alumnus Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard’s former provost and chief academic officer, has been named interim president.

The grand jury indictment of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of child sex abuse, in November of 2011, ignited the most prominent university scandal in recent memory. Former federal judge and FBI Director Louis Freeh conducted a full-scale investigation of the incident after allegations surfaced of a university-wide cover up. Freeh’s final report laid much of the blame at the feet of the board of trustees, finding that the board had “failed to exercise its oversight and reasonable inquiry responsibilities.”

Katherine Bergeron, currently the dean of Brown University, moves to Connecticut College on Jan. 1.

The Connecticut College Board of Trustees has selected Katherine Bergeron, currently the dean of Brown University, as the 11th president of the college. She will take office Jan. 1, succeeding Leo I. Higdon Jr., who will retire in December after seven years there.

Open any newspaper these days and you’ll see variations on the same critiques of higher education we’ve heard for years: spiraling costs, unequal access, ineffective teaching, and so on. And you’ll hear politicians demand greater accountability, while they threaten greater funding cuts. Yet little ever changes.

Think outside the box. The phrase is overused, but the actual practice is definitely underutilized. Yet, it still ranks among the most important tips for higher ed HR professionals who are involved in union negotiations.

Creativity is what moved negotiations forward nearly three years ago at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., recalls Art Doherty, now HR director at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

While much has changed in enrollment management in recent years, one fact remains constant: the right kind of leadership is critical in achieving enrollment success. Several characteristics define leaders who are able to succeed within the realities of the profession today.

Leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill and elsewhere can take actions to ensure that athletics don’t get too great a focus to the detriment of academics.

After several years of well-publicized scandals in the athletics programs at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a new report by the Association of American Universities (AAU) urges UNC to put as much energy into academics as it does into winning national championships.

More than 165 college and university presidents have asked President Obama and Congress to help close the “innovation deficit.” In an open letter coordinated by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the presidents urge them not to cut additional research and education discretionary spending. By coining the phrase “innovation deficit,” they hope to spark national and local conversations.

Paul Brown, president of Monmouth University (N.J.)

Paul R. Brown began his new role as president of Monmouth University (N.J.) on Aug. 1. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University (Pa.), where he raised more than $40 million for endowed faculty chairs and in unrestricted funds. Under Brown’s leadership, the school completed a transformative strategic plan. He also managed historically high levels of enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs. At Monmouth, Brown succeeded Paul G. Gaffney II, who retired on July 31 after 10 years of leadership.

Judith Shapiro, former president and professor of anthropology at Barnard College in New York City from 1994 to 2008.

Judith Shapiro, former president and professor of anthropology at Barnard College in New York City from 1994 to 2008, had been “happily retired” before assuming the leadership role at the Teagle Foundation in July. The New York-based foundation’s grant-making is focused on improving undergraduate student learning in the arts and sciences.

Our fascination with numbers stems from our faith that numbers are more precise than words. But journalists and public officials too often use numbers that are so simplified as to be misleading. The quick numbers on low salaries and high unemployment rates for liberal arts graduates, for example, suggest the opposite picture from what the details reveal. That is, new liberal arts graduates may earn less at first than classmates who majored in professional fields, but over time this gap closes. These glib statistics reveal more informative patterns just below the surface.

Effective succession plans require more than just leadership development programs. How can higher ed officials make that happen? Consider the following ideas from Chris Cullen, managing director of the higher education practice at Infinia Group, a brand strategy and design agency in Washington, DC.

Develop a system that monitors employee innovation. “There is a myth that pleasing your immediate supervisor is the pathway to replacing him or her,” says Cullen. “The reality is that innovation and demonstrated creativity is the pathway to advancement.”

Succession planning is moving from the private sector to higher education administration.

Zero. Zip. Zilch.

That’s what college president Don Cameron found after searching the internet back in 1996 for colleges with succession plans. Surprisingly, not much has changed, since such programs are still not common within higher ed institutions.

A “willingness to take significant risks to advance student success” is a quality often overlooked by hiring boards in the search for community college leaders, says Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence program.