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.
Recently I led members of the Peterson Rudgers Group team in the design and facilitation of a two-day university leadership retreat that included the chancellor, his provost, the vice chancellors and deans. This has become a significant area of practice for our firm, and one that Julie, Steve and I find deeply rewarding. There is both art and science in creating and facilitating a program that fosters deep team dialogue and strategic thinking. And it can have almost magical outcomes in both team building and performance.
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.