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Making the Case for Leadership


Our profession has, at long last, a thoughtful and nuanced examination of the skills, competencies, mindset, and characteristics required of chief advancement officers to lead in the brutally competitive marketplace of higher education today. Croteau and Smith are, thankfully, two scholar-practitioners who eschew a trite 'how to' approach in favor of a layered, deeply insightful case-study format. To all of today's development officers who hope to become a chief advancement officer in the future: this book will put a sledgehammer to your preconceptions of the 'top job' and encourage you to take steps now for your future success.

(Darrow Zeidenstein, vice president for resource development, Rice University)

The Chief Advancement Officer has evolved in the last four decades as an essential leadership position on college campuses. This book is the first of its kind to explore this role and to profile significant leaders. It concludes by outlining 14 practical leadership competencies. Worthwhile ideas are presented on each page of this text. It should be required reading for all future Chief Advancement Officers.
(Kim Nehls, executive director, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) )

This book wonderfully illustrates the various leadership styles and competencies which contribute to success in advancement. Croteau and Smith propose a theoretically grounded model of advancement leadership that will be helpful for those who desire to develop a deeper understanding of the multiple roles occupied by chief advancement officers. Making the Case for Leadership is a terrific read both for sitting chief advancement officers and for those who aspire to lead universities and their advancement organizations.
(Timothy C. Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs; professor of educational leadership and policy, University of Kansas; editor of International Journal of Educational Advancement )

Through their skillfully conducted studies, Croteau and Smith communicate the stories of some true leaders in our profession. Making the Case for Leadership is compelling reading for both established professionals and newcomers in the field.
(James J. Husson, senior vice president for university advancement, Boston College )

About the Authors

Jon Derek Croteau is formerly a senior partner with Witt/Kieffer. He is the author of The People First Approach, a guide to recruiting, developing and retaining the right people, and has published numerous articles on strategic talent management in higher education.  

Zachary A. Smith is a senior partner in Witt/Kieffer's higher education practice. Zach served as interim chief development officer and executive vice president for the UCR Foundation, as well as assistant vice chancellor for development at the University of California, Riverside. His work has been highlighted in the Chronicle of  Higher Education and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.



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