US university presidents facing tough scrutiny

Resignations thrust leadership of schools into national spotlight

By AI HEPING in New York | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-01 07:25
Share - WeChat
Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth appears at a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing in Washington on Dec 5. HAIYUN JIANG/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

"If I was on the board, I would say, 'OK, what went wrong? How did we screw up?' Because the fact that the person has left is as much our fault as theirs, if there is fault to be assigned," he said.

Holden Thorp, a former chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote in an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education last month that today's college presidents need to be prepared right from the start "to go toe-to-toe with seasoned politicians in high-stakes public hearings. When world events strain the campus, they (college presidents) also need the experience and judgment to not send out statements except in cases where they're supposed to send one out.''

Zachary Smith, executive partner in the education practice of WittKieffer, an executive search company, said candidates are opting out of some presidential searches because of the political environment.

"People are taking a little bit longer look at whether they want to jump into the furnace and operate in environments that are not necessarily conducive for their success or their institution's success," Smith told The Washington Post.

Roderick McDavis, the first black president of Ohio University, who is now a managing principal and chief executive of AGB Search, said that while there are still plenty of people who want the jobs, he thinks tenures are shorter because the role is so much more stressful.

He told the news website Axios that when he was president of Ohio University from 2004 to 2017, it was a rewarding job, but it became increasingly all-consuming. "There's literally never any downtime," he said.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next   >>|
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349