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Resources for Fearless Leadership in Higher Ed


Resources for Fearless Leadership in Higher Ed

Jul 13, 2015By Michael Stoner

Yesterday, I moderated a panel at the CASE (Council for Support and Advancement of Education) Summit on the topic of “Fearless Leadership in Higher Ed.” Here’s the description of the panel from the conference program:

We’re surrounded by social media. What are the implications of a world in which everyone is socially enabled? Research suggests people will expect organizations to be open and transparent at all levels. How will this change the ways in which we interact with and engage constituents? This panel, consisting of college and university leaders and leading thinkers about marketing, fundraising and engagement in higher ed, will consider challenges posed by constituents’ demands for openness and transparency.

The panel included:

  • Ellen de Graffenreid (@efdegraff), vice chancellor for marketing and communications, University of Missouri, who works with one of the most socially active highroad leaders, Dr. Bowen Loftin (@bowtieger)
  • Brent Grinna (@brentgrinna), founder and CEO, EverTrue
  • Scott Jaschik (@ScottJaschik), editor, Inside Higher Ed
  • Anne M. Kress (@MCCPresident), president, Monroe Community College (read an interview here)
  • Robert Wyatt (@robertlwyatt), president, Coker College (read an interview here)

Our premise was that it’s a time of dramatic change, when we have to be nimble and quick to adapt. And it follows that engaged leaders should attract or create engaged followers, doesn’t it? That’s proven to be the case. Pair that with the fact that by now we not only have widespread adoption of social media but also smartphones, which empower those followers to engage as well as to cause trouble if they feel neglected or don’t like what’s happening.

[Tweet “Engaged leaders should attract or create engaged followers. #mStoner”]

That’s changed the stakes for how leaders lead, how staff works with a social leader, how the media reports stories, how we engage alumni and other constituents, and how we raise money.

It was a lively and engaging conversation — and here are some of the resources we mentioned:

Someone asked about presidents who use social media well. In addition to Anne and Robert, who were on the panel, here are others who were mentioned:

  • Paul LeBlanc (@snhuprez), Southern New Hampshire University
  • Walter Kimbrough (@hiphopprez), Dillard University
  • Patricia McGuire (@trinityprez), Trinity Washington University
  • Santa Ono (@prezono), University of Cincinnati
  • Kirk Schulz (@kstate_pres), Kansas State

We also mentioned Andy Shaindlin (@alumnifutures), who is a leader among advancement professionals and has a great website (Alumni Futures) with smart insights into social media, higher ed and leadership.

What resources do you recommend on social media and leadership? Please add them in the comments below.

  • Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?