Surveying the long tenures and transformational impact of higher education leaders like Freeman Hrabowski, Michael Crow, Paul LeBlanc, Richard Levin and Pat McGuire surfaces a daunting reality.
Those individuals’ time in the presidencies have been measured in decades. Instituting and solidifying lasting change at most colleges and universities is not an overnight phenomenon.
Yet thanks to mounting pressures from a variety of stakeholders, the average college president lasts less than six years, according to ACE’s recently released American College President Study. That’s down from nearly nine years in 2006.
The turnover is at a time when more institutions are facing deeper crises and, in some cases, existential challenges than in recent memory.