Academic Leadership: The Online Journal (2003-2012)


Susan Madsen


Pursuing excellence in higher education requires constant and continuous change. In fact, throughout the past few decades the need for the effective change in higher education has not only increased but become more complex. New challenges have surfaced in today’s educational, economic, and political environments making it more difficult to strive for and obtain this true excellence. In his book Pursuing Excellence in Higher Education, Brent D. Ruben (2004) presents the eight fundamental challenges in higher education today: 1) broadening public appreciation for the work of the academy; 2) better understanding and addressing the needs of workplaces; 3) becoming more effective learning organizations through clarifying goals and evaluating outcomes; 4) integrating organizational assessment, planning, and improvement; 5) enhancing collaboration and community (campus culture); 6) recognizing that everyone in the institution is a teacher and focusing on the student experience; 7) devoting more attention and resources to leadership; and more broadly framing our vision of excellence.


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