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Transforming a College: The Story of a Little-Known College's Strategic Climb to National Distinction Hardcover – September 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0801879890 ISBN-10: 0801879892

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801879892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801879890
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Keller's study sheds light on the competitive nature of higher education today, and may provide inspiration and guidance for other colleges and universities currently facing similar challenges.

(Book News)

Keller has brought his estimable experience as a consultant, strategic planner, and scholar to the task of presenting an engaging case study of institutional transformation... The resulting account is appealing and engaging, challenging the mindset of readers who are cynical about the possibilities for change in higher education and further inspiring those readers who remain hopeful that, at least in some situations, wholesale transformation is achievable.

(Kristen A. Renn and William A. Edwards Review of Higher Education)

About the Author

George Keller is an education consultant and one of America's leading scholars of higher education. The former chair of the graduate program in higher education studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he is the author of Academic Strategy: The Management Revolution in American Higher Education, also available from Johns Hopkins.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas R. Duke on October 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For a parent -- whose son goes to Elon University (Class of '08) -- this is a fascinating read. It should be very interesting (required reading?) for any private college administrator, potential student/parent, or major donor (it desperately needs to build endowment). Last year there were 9,000 applicants for a Freshman class of 1,200. Elon is indeed a former "hidden gem" college that has definitely ARRIVED!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyones interested in college and university campuses, culture, and characters, this is a must read. Extremely well written and carefully explained about how a fast-fading, no-name college has morphed, with the help of a clear vision, several key strategies, and the right team of administrative and community players, from a bad news bear bunch to a high-flying attractive and quality mid-sized private university. Keller also illustrates the power of longevity when the right collection of talent is gathered and empowered with a unifying vision, a high level of risk-taking, and a terrific ... as they say in the real estate business ... location, location, location. Being in spitting proximity to the UNC/NCSU/Duke U triumverate may not be the essential ingredient to this success story, but it surely contributes mightily! Notably impressive is the very real picture of higher education financing is understandably portrayed, and how the genius of one particular financial employee has employed the concept of financial leveraging. Equally satisfying and enlightening, is how Keller vividly cautions the danger and challenges that this strategy might portend for Elon's future. In any case, it is fun watching this country clubbish campus that has aggressively attracted and retained strong "yankee" students from virtually everywhere north of North Carolina in light of Keller's expose. He warns of the very real rise of this phoenix might in the end become like Brigadoon, too. But for now, any student and parent pondering Elon MUST read this one. Lots of cheap copies available and it's a quick, enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristine I. Hintz on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a little gem, like the university it is about. As a college and career coach, I am recommending this book to my clients.

George Keller, a prominent educational strategist, tells the story of Elon's meteoric rise over the past forty years from a small, very regional North Carolina college to a "hot", sought-after university with a national reputation, viewed as a model of hands-on student-oriented learning. I was utterly amazed by the vision and determination of Elon's administrators, trustees, alumni and faculty to create such radical change in an educational institution.

This book certainly should be read by any parents or students interested in Elon University. But it also offers a broader message to families of college-bound students: Educational institutions, like all organizations, are not static, but are moving targets. They are growing, maintenancing, stagnating, or dying, but they are not standing still.

That said, one can never freeze a college in time. Parents need to update their views on colleges to help support their children's choices. A college that was accessible to above-average students "back in the day" may be out of reach today, because of baby-boomlet compeitition. A college that was not even on our generation's radar screen may be a rising star today.

One such rising star is Elon University, whose story is told so compellingly by George Keller.

Kris Hintz, Position U 4 College LLC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim H. on May 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A simple, but detailed examination of the "little engine that could" in higher Ed. So happy my daughter will be attending this fall.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thanks for the history lesson on Elon! Very impressive people have pushed this school to become a real jewel! It is a very engaged university.
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