ERIC Number: ED357808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Presidential Survival in Tough Times.
Bowen, Raymond C.
Surviving the position of college president requires the development of a presidential survival kit filled with idiosyncratic items not normally associated with formal educational training. Strength, agility, control, and the ability to improvise are some of the talents required of a college president. In addition, the longevity and success of a community college president can be increased by carefully molding, advancing, and embodying the institution's mission. The institutional mission of LaGuardia Community College (LCC) in New York maintains focuses on commitment to multiculturalism and pluralism; economic development and empowerment; and access, retention, and persistence through transfer. Among the problems encountered by LCC's new president in 1989, the two most threatening to the college's mission were a series of student strikes and a controversy over artistic and religious freedom. Student protests, involving building takeovers, followed a series of tuition increases. To deal with the mounting crisis, and to assure campus access to non-protesting students, the president resorted to calling in the police to assist campus security, which eventually ended the protests. In another incident, a display of student art work was termed pornographic and heretical by some, leading to demonstrations by students and church groups. While taking pains to explain the college's mission to students, church leaders, and politicians, LCC's president permitted the display to remain in the interests of academic freedom. LCC's commitment to multiculturalism and pluralism is a critical ingredient in its institutional mission and educational thrust for the 21st century. (PAA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (73rd, Portland, OR, April 28-May 1, 1993).