Presidential cover
On Being Presidential: A Guide for College and University Leaders
Pierce, Susan Resneck
Full Description

In this insightful book, former university president Susan Resneck Pierce offers a guide for academic presidents, aspiring presidents, trustees, senior administrators, faculty leaders, and others who need a clear understanding of what presidents do and the larger issues facing institutions, in turn helping them understand their various roles and responsibilities in order to best serve their institutions.

Although academic leadership has always been demanding, in recent decades it has become more so. As the cost of higher education escalates, so do demands from parents and students. On Being Presidential is filled with specific recommendations that show how presidents and boards can effectively work together and how presidents can enhance their relationships with both internal and external constituencies. The book addresses the reality that a successful president must raise money, manage the institution's financial and human resources, advance its mission, and ensure its future. Pierce also describes the challenges of becoming a public figure and offers suggestions for how presidents and their spouses or partners can craft private lives for themselves while living in a "fishbowl."

On Being Presidential contains recommendations for how both traditional and nontraditional candidates can prepare for a successful presidency, demystifies the search process, and suggests ways for presidential candidates to craft compelling applications.

Pierce also interviewed current and former presidents who describe the pleasures of the presidency, sharing inside stories about their careers and why their presidential experience were so satisfying. Following the presidential career full circle, the book includes advice to departing presidents and their boards and offers real-life examples of how presidents can let go gracefully.

With candor and wisdom, Susan Resneck Pierce brings to light the myriad of opportunities and challenges of being presidential.