Without qualification, this book is and will remain the classic on why university presidents succeed or fail. Not to mention the lessons also apply to all top leadership!
(Warren Bennis, University of Southern California)
There are few university presidents like Stephen Joel Trachtenberg—at once knowledgeable, creative, commonsensical, likable, and aggressive (indeed, relentless, even outrageous) in the pursuit of institutional uplift and excellence.
(Jose A. Cabranes, U.S. Circuit Judge (New York) and trustee of Columbia University, former trustee of Yale University and Colgate University)
The authors provide a thoroughly researched account of career fiascos.
(Sara Michael Johns Hopkins University Gazette
It's a book with relevance far beyond academe.
(Jeffrey Gedmin Harvard Business Review
This book should be read by presidential search committees and purchased by vice presidents worried about their president’s success.
(Joseph M. Cronin New England Journal of Higher Education
Every derailed presidency has its own story. And many resignations, abrupt retirements or terminations do not qualify as a derailment... The risk of failure is high.
(Nick Anderson Washington Post
This is one of the best professional books I have ever read.
(John Boswell johnboswellblog.com
From the Back Cover
"We all err," write Trachtenberg, Kauvar, and Bogue. "As academics, we must also believe that we can all learn how to reduce the chance for error. But human beings are endlessly imaginative and will no doubt continue to find new, innovative ways to mess up and also to do well and good."
In this mordant account of why university presidents fail, these authors show us why leadership in higher education is fraught with peril. Relying on first-hand testimonies from "derailed" university presidents, sixteen case studies in four sectors of higher education, and reviews of the scholarly literature on leadership failures in the public and private sectors, this book shows how good presidencies go bad. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Gerald B. Kauvar, and E. Grady Bogue organize, classify, and explain patterns of leadership failures and offer key advice on how institutions, their boards, and their leaders can avoid these acrimonious battles.
Presidencies Derailed provides a menu of best practices designed to forestall, if not prevent, future leadership failures. With incisive commentary drawn on years of insider experience, this book offers clear examples of derailments and precise advice on how to prevent these institutional disasters at research universities, liberal arts colleges, master's level institutions, and even community colleges.