Colleges and universities stand to benefit greatly when businesspeople engage with them, whether through governing boards, alumni associations, consulting arrangements, philanthropy, or other channels. But many businesspeople are frustrated by the way institutions of higher education work--or rather, how they don't work. Why do decisions in universities take so long and involve so many people? Why aren't profit and growth top priorities for colleges? Why can't the faculty be managed like any other employees? Shouldn't alumni have a greater say as they continue to invest in their alma mater?
As leaders in higher education, James W. Dean Jr. and Deborah Y. Clarke have years of experience addressing these questions for a wide range of professionals outside the academy. This book draws on their expertise to offer real-world guidance for businesspeople who work with and seek to improve colleges and universities. Dean and Clarke differentiate and clarify the motivations and structures that make universities unique among American enterprises. And while they acknowledge the challenges that businesspeople often face when working with academic institutions, they explain that understanding the distinct mission of higher education is essential to being able to effect change within these organizations. Presenting insights from interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, Dean and Clarke give succinct and practical advice for working with universities.