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What it takes to be a superior college president: Transform your institution into a learning organization

Hershey Harry Friedman (Department of Business Management, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Frimette Kass-Shraibman (Department of Accounting, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, USA)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




The purpose of this study is to examine established leadership paradigms in the context of institutions of higher education. The old ways of running a college, which might have worked several decades ago, no longer work in the age of flux characterized by super-fast breakthroughs due to technology and the internet. Organizational change is especially difficult in academe where many faculty are tenured and satisfied with the status quo.


This paper examines and synthesizes the relevant literature in leadership and higher education administration, focusing on critical issues and recommendations to ensure the long-term viability and relevance of colleges and universities. It also describes meaningful metrics that should be monitored by university leaders to strengthen their institutions.


Some of the findings are as follows: the old ways of running an institution of higher learning need to be overhauled; colleges and universities need leaders who can transform their institutions into learning organizations where knowledge is shared; and leaders must have the ability to tap into their organization’s intellectual capital and creativity. In addition, several new metrics are needed for evaluating the leadership of a college of university, including vision, employee engagement, student satisfaction and image/reputation.


This study provides an original approach to reform colleges and universities and enable them to thrive in the age of chaos and disruption.



Friedman, H.H. and Kass-Shraibman, F. (2017), "What it takes to be a superior college president: Transform your institution into a learning organization", The Learning Organization, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 286-297.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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