Letters to Bill: On University Administration by George Lynn Cross

By George Lynn Cross

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Sample text

Bill had a penchant for getting involved with interesting situations. During the last years of World War II, when the university had several specialized training programs for the armed forcesboth Army and Navysoldiers and sailors in uniform were conspicuous on the campus. One day Cleo found a considerable sum of money in his roomin nickles, dimes, and quartersrather more than his biweekly allowance could justify. There was immediate concern that he might have taken the money, concern accentuated by his evasiveness in supplying an explanation.

Now, with reference to your problem, you should remember that the regent who was annoyingly insistent in suggesting that he knew exactly the right person to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of your director of housing, was a new appointee to the board, attending his second meeting. He did not yet understand the relationship that should exist between a governing board and its executive officer. You should not be too concerned about this; rather you should be reassured by the fact that his fellow members gave little or no support to his proposal.

Stoke, former president of Louisiana State University, who wrote in his excellent book The American College President (page 20) that a university presidency involves several paradoxes: those who enjoy it are not likely to be very successful, and those who are successful are not likely to be happy. " I realize that this letter is getting long, and, while I have some other comments, I'll send them along later. There will be plenty of time, inasmuch as you do not take over your new duties for several weeks.

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