Transformational Change in Higher Education

Transformational Change in Higher Education

Positioning Colleges and Universities for Future Success

Edited by Madeleine B. d’ Ambrosio and Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This unique volume discusses the management of transformational change in higher education as a key element of success. With input from researchers, presidents, provosts, and other senior leaders of the higher education community, this edited volume explores transformational change in a range of institutions from small teaching and community colleges to large comprehensive research universities.

Chapter 3: Aligning Institutional Vision with Policymakers’ and the Public’s Interest

Patrick M. Callan

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, public sector economics, education, management and universities


s Patrick M. Callan This chapter explores the alignment of three extremely complex and moving parts: institutional vision, policymakers’ interest, and the public’s interest. This formidable task – and the title of this chapter – was assigned to one of several roundtable groups at the conference, Transformational Change in Higher Education: Positioning Your Institution for Future Success. The five members of the panel represented the diversity and complexity of American higher education, with the exception of community colleges. Their contributions on the problems and opportunities of alignment are presented here. To a substantial extent, these contributions reflect the institutional perspectives of the presenters. This, of course, is as it should be, for an institutional vision and the diversity of institutions and their unique goals, locations, histories, and constituents is a highly valued characteristic of our nation’s colleges and universities. The institutional perspectives are summarized below as they were presented, and the chapter concludes with my own observations on the issues raised in the panel discussions. AN OVERVIEW David Ward, the President of the American Council on Education and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was the moderator of the panel. His perspective was that transformational change would be hard to come by because there are three components of alignment: what the public thinks, what policymakers think, and what higher education leaders think. He suggested that 48 Aligning institutional vision with other interests 49 transformational change would probably mean structural change and that there were, among many others, two areas in...

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