Presidencies Derailed: Why University Leaders Fail and How to Prevent It

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University presidents have become as expendable as football coaches—one bad season, scandal, or political or financial misstep and they are sent packing. A derailed presidency can undermine an institution’s image, damage its alumni relations, and destroy campus morale, but it can also cost millions of dollars. During 2009 and 2010, fifty college, university, and system presidents either resigned, retired prematurely, or were fired. 

These high-profile campus appointments are increasingly scrutinized by faculty, administrators, alumni, and the media, and problems emerge all too publicly. A combination of constrained resources and a trend toward hiring from outside of academia results in tensions between governing boards and presidents that can quickly erupt. Sometimes presidents are dismissed for performance, financial, or institutional “fit” reasons, but there are nearly always political reasons as well. The details of these employment situations, often masked by confidentially clauses, increasingly emerge as social networks and traditional media buzz with speculation. 

Former university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, along with Gerald B. Kauvar and former chancellor E. Grady Bogue, examine what can go wrong—and indeed has—and who in academic institutions has the responsibility to address these issues before things get out of hand.Presidencies Derailed is the first book to explore in depth, from every sector of higher education, the reasons why university presidencies fail and how university and college leadership can prevent these unfortunate situations from happening.

“Without qualification, this book is and will remain the classic on why university presidents succeed or fail. Not to mention the lessons also apply to all top leadership!”—Warren Bennis, University of Southern California

“There are few university presidents like Stephen Joel Trachtenberg—at once knowledgeable, creative, commonsensical, likable, and aggressive (indeed, relentless, even outrageous) in the pursuit of institutional uplift and excellence.”—Jose A. Cabranes, U.S. Circuit Judge (New York) and trustee of Columbia University, former trustee of Yale University and Colgate University.



Presidencies Derailed

Why University Leaders Fail and How to Prevent It
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Gerald B. Kauvar, and E. Grady Bogue

John Hopkins University Press, 2013

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Overview of the Altmetrics Landscape; publishers and service providers listed

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While the impact of article citations has been examined for decades, the “altmetrics” movement has exploded in the past year. Altmetrics tracks the activity on the Social Web and looks at research outputs besides research articles. Publishers of scientific research have enabled altmetrics on their articles, open source applications are available for platforms to display altmetrics on scientific research, and subscription models have been created that provide altmetrics. In the future, altmetrics will be used to help identify the broader impact of research and to quickly identify high-impact research.


Altmetrics are generally categorized in the following ways:
• Usage—HTML views, PDF/XML downloads, book holdings, etc.
• Captures—Bookmarks, favorites, readers, groups, etc.
• Mentions—Blog posts, news stories, Wikipedia articles, comments, reviews, etc.

• Social Media—User activity from Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.
• Citations—CrossRef, PubMed Central, Web of Science, Scopus, Microsoft Academic Search, etc.



Richard Cave, “Overview of the Altmetrics Landscape” (2012). Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference.




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56 Indicators of Impact

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The authors: “Included in the list are not only quantitative indicators of scholarly impact (such as the H-index), but also qualitative indicators that we might be having some impact on the world (such as meetings with, or even angry letters from, important people). We think, especially in an age of increasing demands for accountability, that we academics ought to own impact, rather than having it determined by someone else.”

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Why Has the Number of Scientific Retractions Increased?. a new type of researcher emerging..the ‘serial retractor’?

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The number of retracted scientific publications has risen sharply, but it is unclear whether this reflects an increase in publication of flawed articles or an increase in the rate at which flawed articles are withdrawn.

Methods and Findings

We examined the interval between publication and retraction for 2,047 retracted articles indexed in PubMed. Time-to-retraction (from publication of article to publication of retraction) averaged 32.91 months. Among 714 retracted articles published in or before 2002, retraction required 49.82 months; among 1,333 retracted articles published after 2002, retraction required 23.82 months (p<0.0001). This suggests that journals are retracting papers more quickly than in the past, although recent articles requiring retraction may not have been recognized yet. To test the hypothesis that time-to-retraction is shorter for articles that receive careful scrutiny, time-to-retraction was correlated with journal impact factor (IF). Time-to-retraction was significantly shorter for high-IF journals, but only ~1% of the variance in time-to-retraction was explained by increased scrutiny. The first article retracted for plagiarism was published in 1979 and the first for duplicate publication in 1990, showing that articles are now retracted for reasons not cited in the past. The proportional impact of authors with multiple retractions was greater in 1972–1992 than in the current era (p<0.001). From 1972–1992, 46.0% of retracted papers were written by authors with a single retraction; from 1993 to 2012, 63.1% of retracted papers were written by single-retraction authors (p<0.001).


The increase in retracted articles appears to reflect changes in the behavior of both authors and institutions. Lower barriers to publication of flawed articles are seen in the increase in number and proportion of retractions by authors with a single retraction. Lower barriers to retraction are apparent in an increase in retraction for “new” offenses such as plagiarism and a decrease in the time-to-retraction of flawed work.



Why Has the Number of Scientific Retractions Increased?R. Grant Steen mail, Arturo Casadevall, Ferric C. FangPlosOne 2013. 



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Disrupt or Be Disrupted: An evidence-based blueprint to improving the practice of graduate management education

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This book provides business school decision-makers with an evidence-based approach to improving the practice of graduate management education. The book is designed to help navigate the pressures and create revolutionary platforms that leverage a school’s unique competitive advantage in a design distinctly tailored for today’s business realities.



Foreword vii

George S. Yip


Introduction: The Change Imperative 1
Brooks C. Holtom and Lyman W. Porter


Chapter 1 Ensuring and Enhancing Future Value 21
Erich C. Dierdorff, Denis J. Nayden, Dipak C. Jain, and Subhash C. Jain


Chapter 2 Framing and Making Strategic Choices 57
Michael Hay


Chapter 3 Managing Aspirations, Resources, and Cost Structures 95
Jikyeong Kang and Andrew W. Stark


Chapter 4 Intellectual Signatures: Impact on Relevance and Doctoral Programs 131
JC Spender and Rakesh Khurana


Chapter 5 Curriculum Matters: Toward a More Holistic Graduate Management Education 179
Sara L. Rynes and Jean M. Bartunek


Chapter 6 Overlooked and Unappreciated: What Research Tells Us About How Teaching Must Change 219
Kenneth G. Brown, J. Ben Arbaugh, George Hrivnak, and Amy Kenworthy


Chapter 7 Student Engagement: Selection, Management, and Outcomes 259

Daniel C. Feldman


Chapter 8 Reclaiming Quality in Graduate Management Education 297
Robert S. Rubin and Frederick P. Morgeson


Epilogue 347
Erich C. Dierdorff and Brooks C. Holtom


Disrupt or Be Disrupted: A Blueprint for Change in Management EducationGMACISBN: 978-1-118-60239-3, Hardcover, 432 pagesAugust 2013, Jossey-Bass


Brooks C. Holtom is associate professor of management at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Erich C. Dierdorff is associate professor of management at the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Dramatic Growth of Open Access Journals and documents..but will it al create real impact?

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Kudos to the Directory of Open Access Journals for an oustanding second quarter! In the past few months, DOAJ has added 912 titles for a total of 9,759 journals. That’s a net growth rate of over 10 titles per day, up from the previous rate of over 3 titles per day. At this rate it won’t be long before DOAJ exceeds the milestone of 10,000 journals. PubMedCentral growth continues to be very strong in spite of what looks like a bit of backsliding. The percentage of articles published with free fulltext available continues to grow at a steady pace and is now up to 25%. There are now 69 more journals are actively participating in PMC while there has been a drop of 102 journals providing immediate free access and of 16 journals making all articles open access. Highwire Free shows a similar pattern – overall strong growth – more than 60,000 free fulltext articles added this quarter for a total of 2.3 million and an increase of 2 completely free sites with a drop of 6 sites with free back issues. Overall the pattern for journals is very strong growth in full open access and cooperation with PMC, suggesting that the backsliders are a very small minority.



The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2013Heather MorrisonAssistant Professor, University of Ottawa École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies


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Centres of Excellence (CoE) impacting the Nordic research systems

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A new study on schemes for Centres of Excellence (CoE) finds a broad set of impacts on the awarded research groups, as well as local impacts on their host institutions. They study includes 12 CoEs in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The long-term flexible funding from the CoE schemes provides more leeway for different kinds of collaboration, new alliances and interdisciplinarity, and risk-taking more generally. In the majority of the studied cases, the centres have attracted much funding in addition to the centre grant. The additional funding enables extensive research activities and boosts the research fields; many centres have the size of regular departments with 50 to 150 researchers, including large numbers of PhDs and postdocs. The role of the centre leader seems particularly important in terms of entrepreneurial capacities and laying the ground for the cumulative advantages of the excellence status and long-term funding.

Added value for host institutions includes increased ambitions in the local research environment, and enhanced ability to recruit both highly competent researchers and students. On the negative side, some experience increased local competition for resources, space, personnel, and frictions generated by new organisational structures and scarce resources.


Policy issues needing further elaboration

A general challenge is how to design appropriate and effective CoE policies, taking into account the schemes’ systemic effects and their role and weight within the broader portfolio of policy instruments. The report identifies different perspectives and challenges pertaining to CoE policy, and suggests a dialogue approach to stimulate better understanding of the challenges of CoE schemes and their possible solutions. More direct dialogue between the funding agencies, the CoEs and their host institutions is recommended. The issues to be discussed include how to:

combine concentration of resources (elitism) and good general conditions for researchensure balanced recruitment at the centres, avoiding unintended effectsmaintain CoE competencies and activity after the CoE period and at the same time ensure host institutions’ autonomy and room for strategic thinkingSource:


 Excellence initiatives in Nordic research policies 

Policy issues – tensions and options 

Liv Langfeldt, Siri Brorstad Borlaug, Dag Aksnes, Mats Benner, Hanne Foss Hansen, Egil Kallerud, Ernst Kristiansen, Antti Pelkonen, Gunnar Sivertsen 

Working Paper 10/2013 



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Altmetrics: New Indicators for Scientific Communication in Web 2.0

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In this paper we review the socalled altmetrics or alternative metrics. This concept raises from the development of new indicators based on Web 2.0, for the evaluation of the research and academic activity. The basic assumption is that variables such as mentions in blogs, number of twits or of researchers bookmarking a research paper for instance, may be legitimate indicators for measuring the use and impact of scientific publications. In this sense, these indicators are currently the focus of the bibliometric community and are being discussed and debated. We describe the main platforms and indicators and we analyze as a sample the Spanish research output in Communication Studies. Comparing traditional indicators such as citations with these new indicators. The results show that the most cited papers are also the ones with a highest impact according to the altmetrics. We conclude pointing out the main shortcomings these metrics present and the role they may play when measuring the research impact through 2.0 platforms.


The authors:

“If these indicators are indeed wanted, beyond mere experiments and academic studies, for use in the evaluation of scientific activity, there is no doubt that the many theoretical (significance), methodological (valid sources) and technical (normalisation) problems should still be resolved. These indicators should clearly be used for measuring the social impact of science and, above all, for measuring the impact or immediate visibility of publications, an impossibiity for citation. The new metrics have a very short journey, with an initial burst of activity capturing the visibility of papers at the very moment of publication (Priem & Hemmiger, 2010). This facet complements the classic indicators and even expert reviews, which altmetrics should not aspire to substitute, a situation and a function noted by most scientists”



Altmetrics: New Indicators for Scientific Communication in Web 2.0Daniel Torres-Salinas, Alvaro Cabezas-Clavijo, Evaristo Jimenez-Contreras2013DOI:10.3916/C41-2013-05Cite as:



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