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Can Entrepreneurs Make It in Academic Leadership?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

As an executive search consultant in higher education, I am often asked by search committees about what "non-traditional" candidates might bring to academic leadership roles. "Non-traditional" occasionally describes candidates that do not demonstrate a traditional academic path to leadership positions -- i.e., student affairs or finance professionals interested in presidential roles.

Most often, however, committees are referring to individuals from the private sector. As resource constraints and funding shortfalls plague not-for-profit colleges and universities, boards and committees may yearn for leaders who are more businesslike and entrepreneurial -- who can deftly manage the bottom line and tap into new revenue streams.

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