The book that every dean and department chair needs to survive—and thrive—in the twenty-first-century university.
First released in 2006, The College Administrator’s Survival Guide has served as the bible for a generation of provosts, deans, department chairs, and program directors. Shrewd administrators have returned to the guide time and again for C. K. Gunsalus’s advice on handling complaints, negotiating disagreements, and dealing with difficult personalities. Now, in this revised and updated edition, Gunsalus guides rookie administrators and seasoned veterans through today’s most pressing higher-education challenges.
These days academic leaders must respond to heightened demands for transparency and openness. These demands are intensified by social media, which increases the visibility of university conflicts and can foster widespread misinformation about campus affairs. Meanwhile, institutions have become flatter, with administrators expected to work more closely with faculty, students, and a range of professionals even as support staffs shrink. Between the ever-replenishing inbox, the integration of often-exasperating management systems into every dimension of academic life, and the new demands of remote learning, deans and department heads are juggling more balls than ever before. Tightening budgets have already forced administrators into more difficult choices and, in the wake of COVID-19, there will be no relief from financial constraints.
From #MeToo to partisan battles over curricula and funding, college and university leaders need more savvy and greater sensitivity than ever. What hasn’t changed are the challenges of dealing with difficult people and the importance of creating and maintaining environments in which faculty, staff, and students have the support they need to do their best work. The College Administrator’s Survival Guide provides the tools to keep cool and get the job done.
University administrators have such hard jobs—lots of responsibility, limited power, and vexing people problems. If you have one of these crazy jobs, or are considering one, Tina Gunsalus is here to help. The College Administrator’s Survival Guide shows you how to avoid and get out of all kinds of common predicaments—it is useful, engaging, and, well, downright fun.
Tina Gunsalus puts on a master class, skillfully weaving leadership theory, her significant administrative expertise, and a hefty serving of common sense in this practical guide. Drawing on a wealth of robust, familiar exemplars, Gunsalus offers tested tools and sound advice. Her writing is jargon-free, humorous, and conversational. Leading in higher education is not for the faint-hearted; this book is a must-read for anyone who hopes to survive the vagaries of academic administration.
The College Administrator’s Survival Guide has long been required reading for department chairs and university leaders at our university. By tackling issues raised by the pandemic and the recent political reckoning over racism and sexual violence on campus, the revised guide is now even more essential for all university administrators.
I highly recommend the book to academic leaders at all levels. The contents transcend cultural barriers and institutional experience and are practical, readable, and enormously helpful to faculty who have been thrown into the deep end of academic leadership.
Indispensable…If you or someone you know is new to administration, or about to become new to administration, consider it required reading.
- 304 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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