The reasons why presidents should be able scholars are fourfold:
Scholars are more credible leaders. A president who is a researcher will gain greater respect from academic colleagues and appear more legitimate. Legitimacy extends a leader’s power and influence.
Being a top scholar provides a leader with a deep understanding or expert knowledge about the core business of universities. This informs a president’s decision-making and strategic priorities.
The president sets the quality threshold in a university, and the bar is raised when an accomplished scholar is hired. Thus, a standard bearer has first set the standard that is to be enforced.
A president who is a researcher sends a signal to the faculty that the leader shares their scholarly values, and that research success in the institution is important. It also transmits an external signal to potential academic hires, donors, alumni, and students.
Thanks to Diane Spencer's University World News article for the alert.
Jeff Bleich in LATimes: California's Higher Education Debacle:
My story is not unique. It is the story of California's rise from the 1960s to the 1990s. Millions of people stayed here and succeeded because of their California education. We benefited from the foresight of an earlier generation that recognized it had a duty to pay it forward.
That was the bargain California made with us when it established the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960. By making California the state where every qualified and committed person can receive a low-cost and high-quality education, all of us benefit. Attracting and retaining the leaders of the future helps the state grow bigger and stronger. Economists found that for every dollar the state invests in a CSU student, it receives $4.41 in return.
So as someone who has lived the California dream, there is nothing more painful to me than to see this dream dying. It is being starved to death by a public that thinks any government service -- even public education -- is not worth paying for. And by political leaders who do not lead but instead give in to our worst, shortsighted instincts.
Hannah Smith in NYTimes on why "the majority of the schools [universities] I would apply to would be [all-women] colleges":
My dream has always been a career in politics, and never before in history have women held as many powerful positions as they do today. But because politics is still a predominantly male field, I know that coming from an all-women’s college, or even just a school where the female population is significantly higher than the male one, can give me an edge. At all-women’s colleges there is no fear of your intellect seeming unattractive. In fact, at these institutions women aren’t afraid that voicing their opinions may poorly represent their gender.
... [W]hen it comes to the time in my life when the education I receive will dictate how the rest of things will turn out for me, I don’t want the distraction of boys, and I don’t want to compete with them. In my high school experience, the majority of my teachers have tended to pick boys’ raised hands over those of the girls in class discussions. I’ve even had to endure one teacher tell this joke: “Why couldn’t Helen Keller play basketball?” The answer? “Because she was a woman.”
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Posted by Abi. Posted at 2:15 PM