2020 Presidential Roundtable Series

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2020 Presidential Roundtable Series

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Join us at a Presidential Roundtable

In private moments, presidents have confided in EAB that it has never been harder to lead through complexity that some have described as “almost paralyzing.” This takes two forms. First, in the external world around us the pace of industry disruption has made it harder to develop the partnerships, citizens, and workforce to lead future economies. At the same time, the growing internal complexity and decentralization of colleges and universities has made it harder to respond to these external shifts. The 2020 EAB Presidential Roundtable will address leading on both fronts:

What will it take to lead regional and global transformation?

It’s hard to escape predictions about how automation, AI, and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will disrupt every industry and upend the social order. Already the bots and algorithms heralding this new era are all around us. College and university leaders must decide not only how to adapt their institutions but also how to lead their regions:

  • What partnerships and investments will help accelerate innovation and technological change?
  • How can we democratize access to careers through undergraduate and professional offerings?
  • How do we design a curriculum that will be relevant for new generations?
  • How will we cultivate a citizenry for a society so divided and fragmented it has been described as “Bowling Alone—but worse”?

Examining industry trends and out-of-sector analyses, EAB research will distill the forces driving technological disruption and examine the new imperatives for citizenship in a digital-first, fractured era.

How do we capitalize on the power of a decentralized organization?

The biggest challenges, and opportunities, facing higher education do not fall within neatly defined reporting lines or functional areas. Instead, issues like revenue diversification, diversity and inclusion, and regional economic development all cross silos in the “white space” of the organization, where there aren’t clear protocols, structures, or reporting lines. What will it take to operate effectively across silos:

  • How can we help individual leaders see the big institutional picture, beyond ties to their own functional area?
  • What organizational and operational structures promote productive team dynamics?
  • What are the hidden benefits of decentralization, and how can we use them to advantage?

EAB research will use case studies and interactive workshops to surface often hard-to-detect and hard-to-discuss forces that prevent leadership teams from working together on cross-cutting initiatives. Practical tools and implementation activities will drive home principles and provide actionable next-steps for leaders.