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Where Advocacy and Sound Leadership Must Part Company

The world of higher education is one where advocacy plays out on a daily basis. We see it at the lowest professional levels of our institutions, where faculty are advocates for students, academic programs, policy, colleagues, and curricula as well as for themselves. At the highest level, our presidents are overall advocates for the institution, using public means such as speeches and appearances. They speak of the excellence of the institution and its faculty and the value of the degrees earned by its graduates in the hopes of boosting student recruitment and generating political and monetary support by convincing influential people to carry the message and to donate respectively. They also function as advocates when they appear before legislatures and boards when budgetary issues are on the agenda.

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