Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

I want to thank those who in diverse ways helped me grasp the value of academic community or offered persuasive commentaries on early drafts.

As an administrator I was blessed with superb mentors, to whom I remain grateful even today. As chairperson at Ohio State, I reported to, and learned greatly from, Deans G. Michael Riley, David Frantz, and Kermit Hall. As dean at Notre Dame, I worked closely with, and developed under the guidance of, two excellent provosts, Nathan Hatch and Tom Burish....

read more

Introduction, or How I Almost Managed to Become Someone Else

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-24

From 1997 to 2008, I served as dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame. One day my staff ushered me into our conference room for one of the brief birthday celebrations they occasionally arranged. I was a bit late. They had waited for me before beginning to sing, and I joined in with full voice, but I quietly paused after a while and whispered to one of my colleagues, “Whose birthday is it?”

“Yours,” she said.

With twenty-one departments and more than five hundred faculty members in the college, my identity as dean was overwhelmingly collective,...

read more

PART I. Vision and Change

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-26

The two great revolutions in the history of the idea of the university flowed from new visions of what a university could and should become. How are we to understand these visions and their capacities for inaugurating change?

Despite these revolutions, first in Germany and then in the United States, the gaps that remain in the contemporary higher education landscape are staggering and sobering. How might recognizing and addressing these gaps trigger yet new aspirations and new visions of what a university could and should...

read more

ONE The Idea and Reality of the University, or How We Got Where We Are

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-60

The history of the university has seen three paradigm shifts. In the early nineteenth century, German universities, with their signature integration of teaching and research, changed the landscape of universities across the world and remained preeminent for well over a century. In the second half of the twentieth century, the American university, with unprecedented resources and enrollments, further transformed the idea of the university. Today we are undergoing a third paradigm shift characterized by increasing internationalism, including global competition for faculty and students, new technologies that allow universities to reach...

read more

TWO Vision, or What No Administrator Can Do Without

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 61-80

Motivation is central to success in any enterprise. The most powerful motivation is identification with a vision. When we act because we identify with an appealing ideal, our actions are internally driven and voluntary. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, in his classic essay on university leadership, argues that a president “may be the best administrator in the world, but without a clear and bright and, yes, beautiful vision, he is leading nowhere” (12). The ultimate criterion for evaluating a vision is intellectual; rhetoric and communication presuppose sound arguments. Ideas...

read more

PART II. Embodying and Funding the Vision

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 81-82

Essential to a university’s excellence are its ideas and its people, which together bring to the university the third presupposition of excellence, resources. The most important idea on any campus is the distinctive vision. To ensure that people connect with the animating ideas and ethos of the institution, one needs to hire the right people and mentor them toward the vision through a socialization process that will help them flourish and ensure that their good ideas are integrated into the dynamic articulation of the university’s mission. One also needs to find strategies and incentives...

read more

THREE Embodiment, or Why Not All Meetings Are Dull

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-119

The legitimacy of a vision derives not only from the question of whether it is compelling and distinctive. Other puzzles remain. Does it draw on tradition, has it been conceived in conversation with faculty, and is it open to further development and refinement? Is it effectively communicated through language, symbols, support structures, incentives, and priorities, from budget to fund raising? Has it been linked to specific goals? Are the leadership and the campus community connected by a common sense of the vision’s intrinsic value, which is reinforced by social and...

read more

FOUR Resources, or What a University Needs Besides People and Ideas

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 120-138

It is said that the core of a university is its faculty. While that is at some level true, one could also advance the argument that the core of a university is its students. Why? Faculty usually choose to teach at the university with the best students, and it is above all the former students, the alumni, who, on the basis of their positive experiences, give resources back to the university, which allows it to hire the best faculty, who in turn attract the best students. If universities in other countries want to cultivate the kinds of resources associated with American universities, they will need to...

read more

PART III. Structures, Strategies, Struggles

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-140

What besides vision, personnel, and resources are necessary to advance a university? What structures and strategies have helped animate the rise of the American university? Which are likely to be privileged as universities elsewhere seek to match or exceed the success of American universities? Which were significant for my work as dean?

I would name above all five structures or strategies. First, flexibility, which makes possible autonomous and quick decisions and so renders positions of responsibility more meaningful. Second, the strong competition...

read more

FIVE Flexibility, or How to Juggle Just about Anything

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-158

Student flexibility in America is greater than in countries where students must chose a single and binding course of study before they enroll. Today, about half of Notre Dame first-year students change their intended majors between the start of classes and the spring of their first years. Many colleges offer a self-designed major, so that a student may design a curriculum that integrates multiple disciplines, have it approved by a faculty committee, and major in that field. Moreover, an undergraduate who majors in mathematics can pursue a doctorate in economics;...

read more

SIX Competition, or How American Universities Have Always Embraced the Market

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-172

A distinctive dimension of the American academic landscape is the long tradition and immense culture of competition, which helps to counter complacency and inefficiency. Each university seeks to become outstanding by competing for research dollars and donations, hiring the most distinguished faculty, recruiting the best students, and having an impact in the public sphere. An institution that measures itself against others is naturally encouraged to absorb and integrate the best ideas and strategies of the competition. A friendly rivalry encourages an institution...

read more

SEVEN Incentives, or What the Second-Best Way to Motivate Faculty Members Is

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-183

The strongest motivation occurs when we pursue a good for its own sake. When the vision of a university is clear and compelling, faculty members want to participate and contribute because they identify with the goal and recognize its intrinsic value. However, one needs other strategies as well. At the next level are incentives. Whereas vision exerts power and influence through ideas, incentives serve the same purpose through a reward system that often, though not exclusively, involves funding.

Incentives, then, are a second strategy for motivating persons. We seek not only intrinsic goods but also...

read more

EIGHT Accountability, or How Criticism Can Be a Gift

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 184-232

Although motivating faculty members through vision or, alternatively, incentives, is more desirable, accountability is no less necessary to the functioning of an effective organization. Universities are accountable to the board of trustees, and state universities are additionally accountable to the relevant state commission on higher education, the legislature, and indirectly the taxpayers. All universities are further accountable to donors, faculty, students, and those, often parents, who pay tuition. When universities take out loans to undertake building projects or cover unexpected...

read more

NINE Community, or How Something Can Be Both an End and a Means

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-248

Community is an end in itself, but it can also be a means toward fostering other ends. The sense of belonging in a community makes us more relaxed as well as more attentive, opens our minds to others within the community, and gives us energy and resilience for new challenges. Good learning presupposes that students are being challenged; as students confront these challenges, a sense of community helps. A vibrant extracurricular life both bonds a community together and offers learning opportunities. Collective rituals and ceremonies are important whenever...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 249-260

The two great transformations in the history of the modern university— the German invention of the modern university, where teaching and research overlap and where academic freedom is prominent, and the great American university, aided by a huge infusion of resources and directed toward the goals of educating a majority of young Americans and developing world-class research—were characterized by distinctive, indeed revolutionary, visions.

As communication and mobility across universities increase and as rankings measure what is common, the tendency arises...

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 261-275

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 276