The Insider's Guide to Working with Universities

Practical Insights for Board Members, Businesspeople, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Alumni, Parents, and Administrators

By James W. Dean Jr., Deborah Y. Clarke

216 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 drawings, 14 halftones, 1 graph, 7 tables, appends., notes, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5341-9
    Published: September 2019
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5342-6
    Published: August 2019

Hardcover Available September 2019, but pre-order your copy today!

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Why do decisions in universities take so long and involve so many people? Why isn't growth a priority for colleges? Why can't faculty be managed like any other employees? How can alumni work more effectively with campus leaders? As leaders in higher education with years of experience working with business executives, governing boards, faculty, consultants, and alumni, James W. Dean Jr. and Deborah Y. Clarke have noticed that these questions often arise, revealing that many business-based partners have a limited understanding of academic institutions. This book offers practical guidance for those who seek to invest in and help enhance higher education.

Dean and Clarke advocate for the distinctive missions and structures that make universities unique among American enterprises. And while they acknowledge the challenges often faced when working with academic institutions, they argue that understanding institutional mission is essential to improving the effectiveness of business leaders who engage in higher education. Presenting numerous real-world insights and drawing from interviews with a range of stakeholders, Dean and Clarke chart a path for building and sustaining relationships that work to strengthen higher education.

About the Authors

James W. Dean Jr., Ph.D., is president of the University of New Hampshire.
For more information about James W. Dean Jr., visit the Author Page.

Deborah Y. Clarke, Ed.D., works in the Office of the Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about Deborah Y. Clarke, visit the Author Page.


"This book does an excellent job of educating businesspeople and others on how colleges and universities work--a much-needed primer on higher education for those who may be experiencing it for the first time as something other than a student. As someone who manages a university board, I can say that this is one of the best resources I've encountered in my thirty years in higher education."--Graham Stewart, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations, Vanderbilt University

"James Dean and Deborah Clarke have written a must-read for newly appointed trustees of university and college boards. By bringing together their deep understanding of the business and mission of academic institutions, they have identified the key sources of creative tension--and a board that can not only manage but also leverage that tension ultimately will be positioning its institution for success."--Mari Kuraishi, president, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and cofounder, GlobalGiving