Leading Innovation and Change: A Guide for Chief Student Affairs Officers on Shaping the Future

Laurence N. Smith, Albert B. Blixt, Shannon E. Ellis, Stephen J. Gill, and Kevin Kruger

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Leading Innovation and Change is a manual for implementing systemic transformational change in colleges and universities. The authors detail eight steps for revolutionizing the division of student affairs into a leader and producer of institutionwide innovation and change.

The world of higher education is changing, yet too many colleges and universities act as if it isn’t.

Demands for higher education reform are affecting colleges and universities and impacting divisions of student affairs. A series of macro forces have aligned to challenge higher education and create a compelling need for change: increased demand for institutional accountability, changing student demographics, the rapidly evolving world of work, advances in technology, and new pressures on students to find meaning and purpose. In these turbulent times, chief student affairs officers are uniquely positioned to lead campuswide change initiatives.

Leading Innovation and Change is a manual for implementing systemic transformational change in colleges and universities. The authors detail eight steps for revolutionizing the division of student affairs into a leader and producer of institutionwide innovation and change. They present a combination of organizational theory, effective strategies, helpful tools, and practical advice, and discuss the conditions that must be present for an organization to overcome resistance to change.

The student affairs function is becoming increasingly vulnerable on some campuses at a time when it can become the most valuable asset for innovation. Leading Innovation and Change offers a wealth of information and ideas for chief student affairs officers as well as other student affairs executives and aspirants for planning, implementing, and sustaining successful change initiatives that support thriving institutions of higher learning.


Praise for Leading Innovation and Change

 Leading Innovation and Change provides an important, research-based understanding of the chief student affairs officer’s role in leading and managing innovation and change.” —Jonathan Gibralter, president, Frostburg State University

 “At once sobering and inspiring, Leading Innovation and Change calls for courageous leadership to address the tumult of our times and then delivers the blueprint for achieving it. This book is a must-have for any chief student affairs officer who is serious about facing the future of higher education and embracing its unique opportunities for effective student learning and engagement. Having had the good fortune of working with the authors on innovation and change within my division, I can personally attest to the transformational power their ideas represent.” —Michele C. Murray, vice president for student development, Seattle University

 “Even the greatest strategic thinkers, wisest thought leaders, and extraordinary innovators in student affairs will find exceptional value in this book. Any leader involved in the development of student affairs who desires to change the landscape of higher education will treasure this book because it provides a variety of avenues to help become responsive, progressive, and facilitate leadership with a sense of urgency.​” —Quincy Martin III, associate vice president of student affairs, Triton College

 “The authors provide a rich context not only for the necessity of change in higher education, but for the leadership skills that can result in true innovation. Chief student affairs officers will find creative approaches to leading their divisions and their campuses through transformational change.” —Barbara Snyder, vice president for student affairs, University of Utah

Hardcover | 2015 | 240 pages

978-0-931654-75-6

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