Cover: The College Administrator’s Survival Guide: Revised Edition, from Harvard University PressCover: The College Administrator’s Survival Guide in HARDCOVER

The College Administrator’s Survival Guide

Revised Edition

Product Details


$29.00 • £25.95 • €26.95

ISBN 9780674258549

Publication Date: 07/13/2021

Academic Trade

304 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Indispensable… If you or someone you know is new to administration, or about to become new to administration, consider it required reading.—Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed

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.—Robert I. Sutton, Professor, Stanford University, and author of New York Times bestsellers The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss

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.—Ann Briggs Addo, former Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, University of California, San Diego

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.—Kavita Pandit, Professor and Senior Advisor to the Provost, Georgia State University

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.—Angela Goh, Emeritus Professor and former Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Nanyang Technological University

Praise for the first edition:

With chapters such as ‘Embrace Your Fate’ and ‘Bullies,’ the author reveals a down-to-earth style. Gunsalus says budgets and curriculum planning are a piece of cake when compared to people management. During her years in university administration she has had to investigate myriad problems, including sexual harassment and financial improprieties. The upside of confronting such ‘yucky problems’ is her book, which reflects her hands-on experience with reworked procedures and managerial training.—Jean Marie Angelo, University Business

Tina Gunsalus’s seminar on administrative survival skills kept a crowd of academic administrators rapt for five straight hours, and eager for more. Her advice was lucid, practical, and remarkably shrewd; she adroitly showed us how to elicit the best from ourselves and our faculty even in the worst situations.—Michael Schoenfeldt, Associate Dean for Humanities, University of Michigan

Tina Gunsalus has enormous experience as an administrator, and in this book, with the conversational tone that makes it so enjoyable to read, her knowledge and common sense shine through. The case studies she uses can be as funny as Richard Russo’s Straight Man. Unfortunately, what sounds like a novel can be a real-life problem, and her recommendations for finding solutions are very useful. She used the cases in a workshop on our campus, and the academic leaders who attended found her compelling and thought-provoking—just like the advice in this book.—Hal Irvin, Executive Director, Organizational Development, Georgia Institute of Technology

Where was this book when I was department chair? It provides an extremely useful and comprehensive set of tools and skills that would help almost anyone in academic administration—and in a conversational tone, with a good dose of humor. I found myself laughing one minute and shaking my head in recognition the next. Colleges should buy this book by the truckload and provide copies to all the poor souls who are about to be thrown into the abyss of academic administration. I learned a tremendous amount.—Laura Schreibman, former Associate Chancellor, University of California, San Diego

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

The Burnout Challenge

On Burnout Today with Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter

In The Burnout Challenge, leading researchers of burnout Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter focus on what occurs when the conditions and requirements set by a workplace are out of sync with the needs of people who work there. These “mismatches,” ranging from work overload to value conflicts, cause both workers and workplaces to suffer