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Policy Perspectives, v10 n1 Mar 2001

This essay explores the need for higher education institutions to broaden their conceptions of the talent and experience required of those who assume managerial responsibilities. Colleges and universities are clinging to a parochial set of notions about the job descriptions and skills needed by those who would manage the enterprise of higher education. In the age of markets, accountability, and cost constraints, the motivations and skills of professionals inside the academy differ very little from those in outside settings. Without a real departure from the current practice in higher education, a real gap is likely to develop between the level of managerial skill required in the future and what will actually be available. Higher education, like nearly every other U.S. enterprise, is being recast by an accelerating shift from a producer-driven to a consumer-driven economy. A well-managed institution must focus on service, efficiency, and quality, and it must employ effective managers at every level. Colleges and universities tend to see themselves as entities that differ fundamentally from other organizations, but the reality is that the managerial skills required are very similar to those of other organizations. Institutions of higher education are often ignoring qualified managers because they are outside the academy. (SLD)

Descriptors: Administrator Qualifications, Administrator Role, Administrators, College Administration, Employment Experience, Higher Education, Job Skills

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Autor: Zemsky, Robert, Ed.


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