The magazine AGB Trusteeship featured an article entitled, “Managing the Presidency Through the Arc of Time,” and discussed the legacy of leadership over many years at Central College. Central President and author Mark Putnam outlined how continuity can be incredibly powerful and a key for managing college presidencies and advancing institutional priorities.
The article discusses the roles of trustees and administrations at institutions of higher learning and instructs all to think strategically and long-term when managing colleges and universities. Central is an interesting case study where Putnam is only the 21st president of an institution that is 170 years old. The continuity of leadership over many years has helped steward a prosperous inheritance for future generations.
At many institutions, the accelerating turnover rate in college and university presidencies erodes the stability and ability of postsecondary institutions to undertake and succeed at long-term, large-scale initiatives. The churning of presidents disrupts progress.
The AGB article provides takeaways for boards and college presidents to ponder, as shared in this publication that serves governing boards worldwide. Throughout the article, Central examples are cited, which highlight pathways to greater institutional stability with a tenured leader and long-serving senior leadership team members.
Putnam began serving as president at Central in 2010. He is active in local, regional and national efforts to advance education along with Central’s priorities. Inside Higher Ed published Stewardship of the Presidency, written by Putnam, in the fall of 2022.