A college or university president must be able to answer such questions
- Should a university offer more programs for undergraduate students? Or
should it become a research-based school that focuses on graduate studies?
- Should it offer co-op programs?
- Should it increase its focus on technology programs?
- Should the humanities continue to receive generous funding?
The president makes major decisions regarding the operation of the institution.
They are also responsible for the vision of the university. A president must
think about the impending changes in a society, and how education can change
to meet these new needs.
Presidents get some help deciding what major issues are facing the university.
Large institutions generally have a board of directors made up of people who
decide the school's policies. These directors meet with the president, who
then works to implement these goals.
Giving students a good education costs money. The president is often involved
in generating and allocating funds that come into the university. That can
mean attending fund-raising functions.
University presidents can work at large institutions. In that case, they
may be responsible for as many as 40,000 to 50,000 students. They can also
work at smaller universities and colleges, where the enrollment can be as
little as a few hundred students.
Presidents are generally university professors who have made the transition
to administrative duties. They have often taught in their specific discipline
for many years.
Running an institution can require long hours. It can mean working evenings
and weekends. A university president is a public figure with a certain amount
of prestige within the community. That brings the responsibility of attending
functions outside of office hours.
"This kind of job description is labor-intensive for the president. But
for me and for colleagues who work this way, it is surprisingly unstressful,"
says Claire Gaudiani. She is the former president of Connecticut College.
Being a university president doesn't require much physical effort. This
is an office job. Some travel may be required. The work is often done in a
spacious office, with support staff available.