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Articles: Leadership

Eric J. Barron is leaving Florida State University to become The Pennsylvania State University's 18th president.

Eric J. Barron, president of Florida State University, has been named the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University.

According to the Penn State Board of Trustees, the selection committee was compelled by Barron’s role leading a doctoral research university that also has a law school and a college of medicine, as well as his strategic plan to take FSU into the top 25 ranking of national public universities.

Institutions are increasing efforts to equip those in a broad array of campus leadership positions with the skills they need to identify and woo potential donors.

The University of Florida’s last fundraising campaign, completed in October 2012, surpassed its $1.5 billion goal and finished nine months ahead of schedule at $1.72 billion. Despite this tremendous success, the next campaign will deploy a new tactic—a fine-tuned army of the university’s leaders prepared and practiced in the strategies of fundraising.

Michael V. Drake is The Ohio State University’s 15th and first black president.

University of California, Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake has been selected as The Ohio State University’s 15th, and first black, president, effective June 30.

He will replace E. Gordon Gee, who resigned last July after controversy erupted over comments he made at an athletic council meeting. Drake has served as UCI chancellor since 2005 and has been with the University of California system for 35 years. More people news:

Gone are the days when university CIOs filled their time with trouble-shooting computer bugs and managing servers. “CIOs are at the center of a campus conversation about the proper relationship between technology and education,” says Kamalika Sandell. Associate CIO at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., Sandell is an expert on IT leadership and speaker at UBTech 2014. “We are now more than ever expected to introduce and lead change at the university level.”

Swarthmore College President Rebecca Chopp says the liberal arts best help students 'learn the tools of learning itself.'

While details of President Obama’s college affordability proposals are not fully known, what is clear is that higher education is going under the microscope to prove its value. Add to that a growing chorus of pundits who believe that a liberal arts education is a waste of time and a relic of the past. But two college presidents argue in a new book that a liberal arts education is, in fact, crucial to not just boosting the economy but to solving many of the world’s problems.

Gwendolyn Boyd is Alabama State University’s first female president.

Gwendolyn Boyd has begun her tenure as Alabama State University’s 14th (and first female) president, succeeding William H. Harris, interim president and president emeritus. Boyd was previously an engineer and executive assistant to the Applied Physics Laboratory chief of staff at Johns Hopkins University, where she had worked for the past 33 years.

The challenges for executives operating state-wide higher education Systems and the flagship research universities within those Systems have grown more baffling with each passing year. From UMass and UNC to LSU, Wisconsin, and Oregon, we hear regularly about frustrated and embroiled leadership.

Universities, research institutions, academics and scientists have increasingly been under the bright light scrutiny of the legal system. While not unprecedented for courts and litigators to pull questions of science and research into the courtroom, public debates and high stakes litigation have recently forced some academics and scientists to center stage.

As a frontline supervisor in Facilities Management, I often think about succession planning in our various organizations across the globe. I ask myself a lot of questions like; what would happen if our director won a million dollars or was offered that ultimate dream job? What would happen if our management team decided to relocate to other institutions? What is going to happen when the management decides to retire?

Spencer Parker had a plan: Take his high school volleyball stardom to college, spend a couple of years at a smaller school to develop his academic and athletic skills, then move on to a larger setting. Become a volleyball star on a bigger stage. But the nagging desire to play college football, the lingering effect of a successful season as high school quarterback, was relentless.

Innovation in higher education often involves change, but for many people, that is an unnerving prospect. Effective change management happens when you meet those people on their terms and focus on aligning the benefits that technology will provide with what they value as individuals.

Leon Botstein says of college admissions: “It’s not an objective process. It’s completely subjective.”

Bard College in New York made news last fall when President Leon Botstein announced that prospective students would no longer be required to submit their grades, SAT or ACT scores, teacher recommendations or the typical personal essay. Instead they will now be able to apply to Bard by writing four analytic papers—10,000 words total—chosen from a variety of weighty, thought-provoking topics.

In today’s competitive higher education market, colleges and universities must prove the value of the degrees they bestow to graduates each year. Traditional measures, such as graduation rates, grade point averages, and cohort default rates, have become only a few of the ways colleges and universities are evaluated. Students and their parents want to be assured that their investment in a college education will pay off in the form of a self-sustaining and financially-secure career path.

Jim Clements will become president of Clemson on Jan. 1, after five years leading West Virginia.

Jim Clements will begin his tenure as the 15th president of Clemson University (S.C.) on Jan. 1. He announced his departure back in November as president of West Virginia University after five years in office. Under his leadership, WVU set records in private fundraising, enrollment and research funding. He helped raise nearly $1 billion for capital improvements. Clements is replacing James Barker, who announced in April that he was stepping down after 14 years.

Shirley Reed is the founding president of South Texas College.

As the founding president of South Texas College, Shirley Reed has had her share of challenges in an area of high poverty with many families, recently immigrated from Mexico, who might only dream of sending a child to college.

Since 1993, Reed and STC have made tremendous inroads on changing that.“The students I see are all motivated, hungry for a better life. More than 70 percent of our students are the first in their families to attend college, meaning they don’t know exactly how to attend college at first, but they know it’s the path to a better future,” she says.

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