GSE Faculty Research

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version


Publication Source

American Higher Education in the Twenty First Century, 3rd Edition

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While the work of academics—teaching, research, and service—is the core of an institution, they need someone who can attend to the following:

1. Manage their finances and budgets and provide key services, such as payroll, and health and retirement benefits

2. Serve as a go-between to the scholars from different disciplines and coordinate individual course offerings to create a coherent curriculum

3. Act as a conduit to outside councils, government agencies, alumni, donors, and communities when representing, as well as defending, the academics

4. Steward, but more importantly increase, the available financial resources

5. Oversee facilities and ensure their maintenance

6. Serve periodically as a target for academic ardor and aggression

The nature of this position requires a single individual to be a leader, academic, planner, mediator, politician, advocate, investment banker, conductor, showman, church elder, supporter, cheerleader, and, of course, manager. These roles, and many more functions-including providing leadership; setting institutional strategy; planning; financing; and ensuring compliance with multiple regulations, laws, and policies (and politics)—are the domain of a campus head, a position labeled president or chancellor, vice-chancellor or rector, depending on the continent and system.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Copyright © 2011 Johns Hopkins University Press. This material first appeared in American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century, 3rd edition. Altbach, P.G., Berdahl, R.O., & Gumport, P.J. (Eds.). pp. 279-311. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.



Date Posted: 14 August 2018