Download The View from the Helm: Leading the American University by James J. Duderstadt PDF

By James J. Duderstadt

Widely considered as some of the most lively and publicly engaged college presidents in sleek academia, Duderstadt— who led the collage of Michigan from 1988 to 1996— presided over a interval of large switch, not just for his establishment, yet for universities around the state. His presidency used to be a time of development and clash: of sweeping new affirmative-action and equal-opportunity courses, major monetary enlargement, and reenergized pupil activism on matters from apartheid to codes of scholar conduct.

Under James Duderstadt’ s stewardship, Michigan reaffirmed its recognition as a trailblazer between universities. half memoir, half historical past, half statement, The View from the Helm extracts basic classes from his studies on the vanguard of switch in greater schooling, supplying present and destiny directors a primer on educational management and venturing daring rules on how better schooling could be instructed into the twenty-first century.

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But leadership required something more. As president, it was my task to raise the bar, to encourage aspirations to become the very best, rather than to settle for what some of our faculty termed “the complacency of ‹fth-ism,” the tendency to be satis‹ed with a national ranking always somewhere in the top 10 but rarely ‹rst. We needed to challenge the institution to pick up the pace, to be more demanding in our expectations for student and faculty achievement. This, in The Leaders and Best 35 turn, would require outstanding facilities for instruction and research; highly competitive salary programs to attract and retain the best faculty; and strong student ‹nancial aid programs to attract the best and brightest, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

Most commonly, we think of the role as that of the leader of a university campus. , hospitals and football teams) of the campus but also important external roles, such as private fund-raising and public relations. , state government and the university governing board), along, of course, with bearing the responsibility for hiring and ‹ring campus chancellors. Michigan is a bit of an oddity here, since the president is both leader of the Ann Arbor campus and head of a small system including campuses at Flint and Dearborn, both of which also have chancellors.

There might even be times when we might intentionally stimulate such activism. Yet, at the same time, we needed to transform our all-too-frequently adversarial relationship with the student body with a new spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, by stimulating a generation of student leaders who would infuse their challenges to the institution with a sense of loyalty and responsibility. A sense of history and purpose also determined my external agenda. Top priority was given to actions that would enable the university to protect its traditional autonomy, its capacity to control its own destiny.

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