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Generation X Presidents Leading Community Colleges

New Challenges, New Leaders

Martha M. Ellis and Linda Garcia

Hardback
Paperback
eBook
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) reports over 900 presidential transitions in the last five years. It also estimated that nearly 50% of presidents will retire in the next 5 years. The flood of imminent retirements of sitting presidents and other senior leaders from community colleges is widely known. As community colleges are facing unprecedented challenges with the exodus of successful presidents, Generation X leaders are stepping in to fulfill the vacant leadership positions. This book is about them—their views on the community college presidency, new challenges facing community colleges, balancing work and other obligations, tapping future rock star leaders, and what every president needs to know that was not taught in graduate school. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / American Assn of Community Colleges
Pages: 130Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4758-3152-8 • Hardback • March 2017 • $50.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4758-3153-5 • Paperback • March 2017 • $25.00 • (£15.95)
978-1-4758-3154-2 • eBook • March 2017 • $24.99 • (£15.95)
Martha Ellis is Vice –President/Dean of Graduate faculty and professor in the Community College Leadership Program, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University as well as Interim Director of Higher Education Services for the Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin. She has over 35 years of experience at community colleges and universities including faculty and college presidencies.

Linda García is Assistant Director of College Relations for the Center for Community College Student Engagement, part of the Program in Higher Education Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin. She oversees the Center’s community college relations and serves as a point of contact for state leaders, funders and national higher education organizations.
Foreword
Walter Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Generation X Presidents and New Challenges
Martha Ellis, Vice President/Dean of Graduate Faculty and Professor, Community College Leadership Program, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University and Interim Director of Higher Education Services, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin

Chapter 1: Who Are the Generations?
Linda Garcia, Assistant Director of College Relations, Center for Community College Student Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin

Chapter 2: Leading From the Middle Generation Position
Thom Chesney, President, Brookhaven College, Dallas County Community College District

Chapter 3: Why We Became and Remain Presidents
Martha Ellis, Vice President/Dean of Graduate Faculty and Professor, Community College Leadership Program, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University and Interim Director of Higher Education Services, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin

Chapter 4: Being Called to the Presidency in Tumultuous Times
Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, ValenciaCollege

Chapter 5: Intrusive Mentoring
Linda Garcia, Assistant Director of College Relations, Center for Community College Student Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin

Chapter 6: “The Real Work”: Gen X Presidents as Mentors for Student Success and Sustainability
JoAlice Blondin, President, Clark State Community College

Chapter 7: New Strategic Planning
Kirk Nooks, President, Longview Campus, Metropolitan Community College Kansas City

Chapter 8: Trust and Empowerment: A Declaration of Independence
Allen Goben, President, Northeast Campus, Tarrant County College

Chapter 9: From Latchkey Kid to Latchkey President
Steven Gonzales, President, GateWay College, Maricopa Community Colleges

Chapter 10: Crafting a Rewarding Life
Martha Ellis, Vice President/Dean of Graduate Faculty and Professor, Community College Leadership Program, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University and Interim Director of Higher Education Services, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin

Chapter 11: Crafting a Rewarding Life: A President’s Insights
Stefani Hicswa, President, Northwest College

Chapter 12: Preparing for the Presidency: What They Did Not Teach You in Grad School
Martha Ellis, Vice President/Dean of Graduate Faculty and Professor, Community College Leadership Program, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University and Interim Director of Higher Education Services, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin

Bibliography

About the Editors

About the Contributors
Martha Ellis and Linda Garcia have provided a unique window into the next generation of community college leaders in their latest work. Peppered with contributed chapters from newer presidents who share their own experiences, the book includes refreshing qualitative research and key insights from the editors regarding this group of new higher education leaders receiving the baton from baby boomer presidents. Of particular interest are the multiple quotes from Generation X campus and college leaders themselves, suggesting fresh ways of thinking about the presidency, depicting their strong belief in service to others, as well as their abiding commitment to community. The book is an essential for boards of trustees who are seeking to fill vacant leadership posts, most likely employing these individuals ready to enter the relay race. The book likewise offers counsel and support to this purposeful generation considering this amazing leadership opportunity.
Daniel J. Phelan, President/CEO, Jackson Community College; Chair of Board of Directors of American Association of Community Colleges


This book is a “must read” for college trustees, administrators and faculty as community colleges continue to face the future of declining financial support, declining enrollments and the continued public pressure for increased accountability. All of this change is occurring at a time when the great majority of community college presidents are leaving their posts, creating leadership opportunities unlike anything witnessed since the 1960s. The editors have succeeded in capturing the insights, perspectives and experiences of a cadre of current GenX presidents who have shared their views and positions with great focus and clarity. Our community colleges will succeed with creative, talented and committed leaders. Anyone considering a leadership role and opportunity will find this book of immense value.
John E. Roueche Ph.D, president, Roueche Graduate Center, National American University


Generation X Presidents Leading Community Colleges: New Challenges, New Leaders provides an insightful narrative of the motivation, experiences, rewards, and styles of today’s Generation X community college leaders. Stable, effective, and courageous leadership is critical to the success of our colleges and to their capacity to meet the needs of today’s students. The authors present a refreshing perspective on changing leadership competencies, the importance of “fit,” the value of mentoring, and how to bring balance to the all-consuming life of today’s community college leader.
George Boggs, PhD, president and CEO emeritus, American Association of Community Colleges; president emeritus Palomar College


Intriguing, engaging and enlightening, Generation X Presidents Leading Community Colleges: New Challenges, New Leaders invites the reader into an emerging leadership landscape that is still unfolding. The authors provide a glimpse into the evolving role of community college presidents through research, interviews and observations connected with practical ideas for professional development. The authentic voices bring life to multifarious approaches to presidential leadership along with new views and visions. Whether a new or longer-tenured president, the book forces one to think differently about the principles of leadership and translates them into tenets that can enable success in uncharted territory.
Jerry Sue Thornton, PhD, president/CEO, DreamCatcher Educational Consulting, president emerita, Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio)


The contributors to the book explain how leaders in the Baby Boomer generation have held the reins in many colleges, leading the Generation X workers in the day-to-day activities. However, scores of the Boomer generation are now exiting the workforce, leaving the leadership reigns in the hands of GenXers. In doing so, though, they’ll not only be leading their fellow Gen-Xers and the younger Millennial workers, but they’ll also be leading Baby Boomers and possibly some older workers from the veteran generation who are still in the workplace. What does this mean for community colleges? This book shows that this generation of leaders represents a leadership transition, the likes of which the sector, has never seen before due to the stark differences in values between the two dominant generations.
The twelve-chapter book opens with an introduction to the new challenges facing presidents. And, then progresses with discussions on the generational differences, leading from the middle, becoming and remaining a president, intrusive mentoring, New strategic planning, and final chapters focusing on contemporary aspects of the Generation X leadership. The chapters are composed of several defining parts that maintain a sense of continuity throughout the book.
An overall value of the book is that it reminds the reader that higher education and society, in general, are changing, so it's only natural that the next generation’s leadership style will change as well. Gen-Xers are different; they’re working in a different era, and they have different values and experiences that they bring to the table. In other words, the book forwards the reader to expect Gen-Xers to bring a different style of leadership to the institution. This book can be an excellent resource for emerging leaders, senior leaders, faculty, and board of trustees and the leadership enthusiast.
Christine Johnson McPhail, president, The McPhail Group LLC; Achieving the Dream, Leadership Coach; Roueche Graduate Center, Faculty and member of National Community College Advisory Board


The changing landscape of America’s community colleges requires a different type of leader, one who is able to tackle emerging challenges such as developing multi-cultural communities that foster inquiry and action, reforming developmental education in a way that is connected with a program of study, moving their colleges to the center of their communities, and using technology to improve teaching and learning rather than as an end to itself. This study of Gen X presidents is critical at time; the nation is depending on their leadership to take community colleges into the next wave of innovation and difference making.
Karen A. Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream, Inc.


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