10 Articles Every Leader in Higher Ed Should Read

A list of key articles on leadership, curated by Patrick Sanaghan & Amit Mrig Over the past 7-8 years, Academic Impressions has designed and delivered leadership programs for over a thousand leaders across the higher education landscape. We have had the opportunity to work with academic and administrative leaders as well as presidents and provosts. […]

10 Tips for Optimizing the Return on Professional Development

To get the most out of your limited professional development (PD) and training budget, consider these 10 tips: SELECTING THE EVENTS Talk with your supervisor to ensure the trainings you identify align with your individual and departmental goals. Make sure that PD is a recurring item in your supervisory discussions. Rather than go to the same […]

10 Tips to Improve Your Meetings

by Pat Sanaghan (The Sanaghan Group) Most meetings simply don’t work and are a waste of precious time. Unfortunately, many higher education leaders spend much of their professional lives in these unproductive meetings. Higher education runs on thousands of daily meetings including committees, task forces, departmental meetings, and so on. When was the last time you […]

10 Ways Leadership Development Programs Fail in Higher Ed

Diagnosing Leadership Development Programs In the past few years, institutions of all types and sizes have started in-house leadership development programs—programs aimed at developing key faculty, staff, and administrators. While building in-house leadership development programs is a critical long-term strategy, these investments are not without risk. These programs often come at considerable cost and can […]
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24 Higher-Ed Leaders Look to the Future

by David Kiel, Dr. P.H., David Kiel Associates, LLC with contributions from Amit Mrig (President, Academic Impressions) and Pat Sanaghan (President, The Sanaghan Group) Future Timeline: What Trends, Events, and Issues Will Shape Your Campus? No one can foresee the future of higher education with certainty, but we can cultivate the habit of looking forward, scanning the […]

5 Secrets to Developing a High-Performing Team in Higher Education

Higher education will face daunting and complex challenges over the next decade, and campuses will need high-performing teams, especially a high-performing senior team, in order to face those challenges. Building and nurturing a great team is a daunting and noble task for any leader. It takes courage and care, perspiration and aspiration, and investment of time and attention—all of […]

5 Strategies for Leading Change

by Marilu Goodyear and Jenny Mehmedovic Addressing the challenge of institutional change is necessary and difficult. Each institution has a unique path forward; the ones most successful at moving forward are those that match their unique organizational strengths to a compelling vision of the future. Implementing change within our diffuse decision-making structures requires an approach […]

6 Destructive Myths About Teams in Higher Education

Higher education will face daunting and complex challenges over the next decade, and campuses will need high-performing teams, especially a high-performing senior team, in order to face those challenges. In this paper, Patrick Sanaghan and Jillian Lohndorf expose 6 potentially destructive myths — myths that get in the way of building and nurturing a great team. Read the paper. See Upcoming Leadership […]

6 Powerful Ideas for Building a First-Class Team on Campus

by Patrick Sanaghan (President, The Sanaghan Group), with Clint Sidle Why You Need a Stellar Team To build a high performing team is a daunting and noble task, and such teams are as rare as blue diamonds. The silo mentality that often exists on our campuses often limits our collective actions, and creates redundancy and […]

6 Things Presidents and Chancellors MUST Do to Prepare for a Crisis

INTERVIEWS WITH PRESIDENTS AND CHANCELLORS This article was adapted from interviews conducted during the course of preparation for chapter 3, authored by Cindy Lawson, in Managing the Unthinkable, Crisis Preparation and Response for Campus Leaders, edited by Gretchen M. Bataille and Diana I. Cordova, Stylus Publishing, LLC. 2014.   by Cindy Lawson, DePaul University Throughout my […]

7 Powerful Practices Presidents Use to Increase Their Creativity

“Creativity takes courage.” This paper by Patrick Sanaghan of The Sanaghan Group shares 7 tested and proven practices that college and university presidents have used to enhance their creativity: Develop a system for capturing new ideas immediately Neutralize the critic in your meetings Invite “wildcards” to your senior meetings Create or find your own physical […]

7 Tips for Effectively Managing an Admissions Team

by W. Kent Barnds (Augustana College) When I took on my role in 1997 as director of admissions at Elizabethtown College, the extent of my leadership and management experience consisted of serving as captain of my college track team several years before. While I’d worked hard as an admissions counselor and was beginning to feel […]

7 Ways Academic Leaders Can Cultivate Creativity

Series: Strategy and Differentiation In this series, we share practical strategies from entrepreneurial presidents and provosts with a history of sustained institutional growth. We’re asking them questions like: How do you grow the core of your academic enterprise? How do you differentiate your programs effectively on the basis of who you serve and how you […]

8 Keys to Improving Task Forces and Committees in Higher Education

by Amit Mrig (Academic Impressions) and Patrick Sanaghan (The Sanaghan Group) Web Version: Read Our Executive Summary Time is the most precious resource on campus, and it is one we can control and influence. But how closely do we manage people’s time across our institutions? What are the biggest opportunities to increase the value from […]
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A Fresh Look at the Developmental Ed Curriculum

Institutions that have made real strides in improving retention and academic success rates for academically underprepared students have focused not only on revisiting their policies around academic placement but also on revamping their developmental education curriculum. Let’s take a close look at two successful—though quite different—models: The assisted learning approach: replacing prerequisite courses with corequisite coursework […]
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A Look Inside Academic Impressions

by Daniel Fusch, Academic Impressions, interviewing Amit Mrig, President, Academic Impressions I know from talking with many of our subscribers that not all of you are aware of the full breadth of what Academic Impressions does in the higher-ed industry. Some things you may not know about AI: We organize over 100 conferences for higher […]

Addressing the Academic Leadership Crisis

In a recent editorial entitled “The Imminent Crisis in College Leadership,” Richard Ekman, the president of the Council of Independent Colleges, suggested a growing risk is that more institutions may soon be led by presidents who have less of an understanding of the academic mission, and he called for greater investments in professional development and […]

Advancement/Academic Partnerships: Using a Team Science Model to Fund Research

A NEW SERIES ON INNOVATIONS IN FUNDING ACADEMIC RESEARCH Ed Mason, president of EMNR & Associates, is writing this series to assist academic leaders in finding creative strategies to merge public/private funding for existing and new research initiatives. Mason has studied an array of collaborative partnerships between the two offices most focused on external funding (the development […]
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Building an In-House Leadership Development Program

Once you have clarity on the leadership skill sets your institution is seeking — and a commitment to look beyond the “usual suspects” when identifying future leaders — the next challenges involve offering meaningful opportunities for your institution’s “stylistic invisibles” to become visible and providing an intentional and deliberate process for developing your high-potentials as future leaders. There […]

Building Leadership Resilience in Higher Ed

This paper by Patrick Sanaghan of The Sanaghan Group will: Share the most recent research on resilience Identify critical characteristics of resilient leaders Suggest practical strategies for developing your own leadership resilience Share resources that will be helpful guides as you continue to learn about and practice resilience Download Your Free Paper See Upcoming Leadership […]

Campus Diversity: Beyond Just Enrollment

At Academic Impressions, we had the opportunity recently to speak with Mary Hinton, the vice president for planning and assessment at Mount Saint Mary College. Hinton advocates adopting a more holistic perspective on campus diversity — specifically, moving beyond a focus on demographics of incoming students. We wanted to learn more about her perspective and […]

Can Confusion Be an Asset and a Resource for a Leader?

by Patrick Sanaghan (President, The Sanaghan Group) How Do Successful Higher-Ed Leaders Deal with Adaptive Change? We’re well-equipped, in higher education, to meet technical change head-on. We’re often less well-equipped for adaptive change. This is a distinction Ron Heifetz drew, first in his thought-provoking book Leadership without Easy Answers (1998) and later with Martin Linsky in […]

Collaborative Leadership: The New Leadership Stance

Collaboration is a word that is used carelessly in higher education. Leaders tend to bandy the word about when talking about semi-cooperative and collective efforts on their campuses. It sounds a lot like Mom and apple pie and democracy; after all, who wouldn’t like more “collaboration”? But those rare and effective leaders who are truly collaborative in style, philosophy […]

Creating a Faculty Leadership Development Program

by Dr. David H. Kiel, Senior Leadership Consultant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Effective faculty leadership is important because faculty are the main stakeholders in the university who are committed to the core academic and democratic values that underpin higher education in the US. If faculty members are not effective leaders, then higher education at […]
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Creating a Written Professional Development Plan

by Daniel Fusch, Academic Impressions In our second annual survey on The State of Professional Development in Higher Education, we learned that those who optimize the return on their investments in professional development (PD) are very intentional about making those investments. They don’t just go to the same events annually; they actively seek out new […]