The following is a guest post by E. Royster Harper, a senior advisor with Peterson Rudgers Group. She served for four decades in student life roles at the University of Michigan, including as vice president for student life.
Universities are well aware that after two years of pandemic disruption, students are feeling stressed, disconnected, and concerned about their safety, their futures and the value of their education. We’ve seen their fear and anger over sexual assaults and racial incidents spark campus protests across the nation, demanding change.
When Generation Z students are dissatisfied, they take their complaints straight to the top. They expect to be consulted and heard — yet too often, university leaders don’t take the time to engage students in honest dialogue and involve them when addressing issues that shape their college experience. Continue reading →
8/17/21 Portraits of Mary Sue Coleman in the Michigan Photography studio and the LSA Opportunity Hub.
Julie, Steve and I are delighted to share the news that University of Michigan President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman has returned to Peterson Rudgers Group as Senior Advisor. Mary Sue has concluded her historic service at Michigan, coming back to the university to serve as interim president for nine months during a time of great need.
The essay below, by Mary Sue Coleman and Lisa Rudgers, originally appeared April 20, 2021, in Inside Higher Ed.
Being a college president is tough under the best of circumstances. While the pandemic has exponentially expanded the day-to-day work and uncertainty, the job has in truth always been extremely challenging. Pressures from stakeholders across the institution, economic and political stressors, and the precariousness of the sector’s financial model can threaten to undermine even the most determined leader’s ability to sustain forward momentum.
This is especially true for those taking on higher education’s CEO role for the first time. New presidents must learn how to navigate the institution’s governance and culture, all while balancing the seemingly endless demands from internal and external constituents.
Increasingly, wise boards of trustees and campus leaders are recognizing that executive coaching and mentoring can be an important component in successful presidential leadership over the long haul. Although executive coaching is common in the corporate sector, higher education has been slower to understand the benefits that external coaching and expertise can bring to bear — and the reasons why an experienced, outside perspective is so valuable. Here’s what we’ve learned. Continue reading →
Julie, Steve and I are thrilled to announce that three higher education superstars are joining the Peterson Rudgers Group team as Senior Advisors: Mary Sue Coleman, E. Royster Harper and Cynthia Wilbanks. The trio will offer our clients (and us) an unparalleled breadth of experience and depth of wisdom drawn from their decades of experience at the highest levels of university leadership.