University Presidents: How Do You Know When It’s Time for a Change?

August 29, 2016


The average tenure of university presidents has been on the decline. The amount of turnover is undisputed, but what are the right reasons to move on? Our own Dr. Marylouise Fennell offers insights to guide your evaluation:


  1. Timing. Leaving at a crucial time not only damages the university’s success, but your credibility. Aim to leave on a high note. “Foundations and corporations, as well as individual major donors, want to see success, momentum, and stability.”

  2. Rationale. It is natural to want to leave out of frustration with situations or politics, but be aware that overcoming a difficult season will make you more hirable for your next position. “Among the most positive reasons for leaving is the fact that you are seeking new challenges, having accomplished most of what you had set out to do.”

  3. Transitions. Once you’ve decided to leave, find the balance of showing your successor what and whom they need to know to be successful without micromanaging. 

Read more of Dr. Fennell’s comments here.

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