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Seeking the advice of an executive coach is becoming increasingly common in educational institutions across America. After all, professional athletes have coaches, so why shouldn't university administrators?

Too often, however, coaches are called in even though an administrator's poor performance is well beyond redemption. The intervention is thus set up for failure, right from the start. The likely result is that the institution loses not only the administrator but also the time and resources invested in the coaching engagement.

From application frustrations to test score worries, high school students and parents have a lot on their minds these days. As do Admissions offices, of course, in their quest to do ever better for their institutions. Here's a look at some of the current concerns and trends, as well as a glimpse at what college administrators should focus on in the coming year.

Families Are Asking ...

Just five years ago, University of Minnesota students had to visit four different buildings on campus just to register for classes. In fact, completing any administrative transaction--from requesting a transcript to paying a parking ticket--required a commute, as the university handled most of its student services in different buildings.

Four-and-a-half years into being the president of Wilkes University, I find myself more passionate than ever about the future of the City of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where we are located. Nearly $150 million worth of construction and renovation have begun in the downtown alone. And more is on the way as the city gets back on its feet again.

Just as library media centers and wireless implementations are keeping universities and colleges on the cutting edge of technology, so too are card programs trying to stay ahead, bringing more services and better access control into the mix.

Prior to 1997, the University of Michigan was a paper-laden institution. Financial Aid office staff members, in particular, were weighed down by a paper-intensive process and the need to purge documents every four years.

The new vice president for diversity and equity was working behind the scenes at the University of Virginia before his position even kicked in. A number of racial incidences had disturbed the Charlottesville campus in the early weeks of fall 2005, including epithets yelled out by pedestrians and people in cars, a slur scrawled on a student's message board, and the mistreatment of a black student at a fraternity party (beer was poured down the student's back, for one).

Taylor Behl was a pretty, sympathetic, and emotionally trusting 17-year-old freshman who came to the city of Richmond in late summer to begin studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. How can these things be certain? The photos she posted of herself and the writings in her online weblogs at and Myspace tell the story.