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Multiple Academic Presidencies Become More Common

Friday, April 08, 2011
Multiple presidents, those who have served at the top of more than two higher education institutions, are becoming more common in academia, writes John Thornburgh, senior vice president and higher education co-director. Boards and presidential search committees frequently reach out to sitting presidents of other institutions when seeking a new leader. These seasoned leaders are viewed as more competent to face challenges in finance, enrollment, fundraising and academic administration.
It is important to understand why a sitting president would consider a new opportunity, according to Thornburgh. Presidents should be seeking opportunities where their skills and abilities can be applied to a larger, more complex setting with the goal of having a strong impact on the new campus. The hiring decision should be made after thorough assessment of the candidate’s true motivations.

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