Category Archives: Resources

A Growing Team of Seasoned and Talented Associates

One distinctive aspect of the Peterson Rudgers Group model is the ability to tap into a distinguished and diverse group of team members, associates and senior advisors who have deep experience in leadership roles at a wide range of colleges and universities. We have continued to add to this pool of seasoned leaders whose wisdom directly benefits our clients — most recently with addition of Sonya Malunda as our newest senior advisor and the appointment of Lisa Connolly as the newest member of our administrative team.

Lisa Lapin

Lisa Lapin

This spring we welcomed Lisa Lapin as our newest senior associate. Lisa served as Vice President for Communications at the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts. There she led marketing, media relations, internal communication and public affairs, raising the regional, national and international profile of Getty and its Conservation Institute, Research Institute and Getty Library, grant-making Foundation, and two world-renowned fine art museums in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Getty Trust, Lisa served as Stanford University’s chief communications officer for 10 years and led communications at the University of California, Davis for nearly a decade. In those roles she was a national leader on cutting-edge digital and strategic communications as well as issues and crisis management. Lisa launched her career as an award-winning journalist and editor at leading newspapers including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and The Sacramento Bee. She holds an MLA from Stanford University and a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California.

Over the past several months, we were delighted to add four valued colleagues as senior associates: Laurie Fenlason, Alida Miranda-Wolff, Angela Paik and Marisa Quinn.

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Advice for Newly Promoted Leaders

Laurie L. Fenlason

In today’s hot market for talent, college and university leaders increasingly are finding opportunities to be promoted into new roles. PRG Senior Associate Laurie Fenlason and her colleague Jenn Desjarlais, a principal with Cambridge Hill Partners, offer great advice for how to take advantage of your institutional knowledge while also growing and developing in your new responsibilities. In an opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed, they write that “…even as you hit the ground running, don’t rush past the benefits of newness that would ordinarily accrue to an appointee coming from the outside.” Read their essay in Inside Higher Ed: “Congratulations, you’ve been promoted. Now what?

Making Institutional Statements in Times of Conflict

The following compilation was developed by PRG partners Julie Peterson, Steve Kloehn, and Lisa Rudgers based on our own experiences and a review of best practices nationally.

One increasingly difficult, and perplexing, question for college presidents and their senior leadership teams is determining when to issue an official university statement in the midst of crises or concerning developments, whether they occur on campus or elsewhere around the nation or the globe. 

Much has been written about this topic in recent years, and it’s no wonder. (See the end of this essay for a resource list of further reading.) The criticism that followed nearly every statement by a university president in response to the conflict between Israel and Hamas is a painful reminder of the inherent challenges. And that is just the most recent example. College leaders were also praised and pilloried for their response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the January 6 insurrection in Washington in 2021 and the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in 2022, to name just a few. The expectation that university leaders will speak out in response to events beyond their campuses only appears to be accelerating, even as many leaders express growing reservations about taking on that role. Continue reading

Getting Staff Relations Right

PRG senior associate, independent consultant and longtime higher ed leader Laurie Fenlason offers wise advice about the importance of college and university leaders making an extra effort to engage their staff. She notes that talent shortages, labor unrest, attacks on diversity and inclusion programs, and the complexities of hybrid work make employee engagement an even more urgent priority in the year ahead. Read the rest of her essay, which includes great examples of best practices, in Inside Higher Ed.