Witt/Kieffer: Leadership Traits and Success in Higher Education

In academia there has been an increasing trend to seek out “nontraditional” candidates to fill positions from dean to chair and even president. Higher education has begun to tap executives in the private sector or those with close ties to the corporate world. Witt/Kieffer teamed up with Hogan Assessment Systems to collect personality data on today’s higher education leaders and compare them with those in the private sector.

The findings revealed that while corporate leaders bring new ideas and fresh blood, they also have to change and adapt to the new environment.  For example, higher education leaders tend to be more cooperative and covertly resistant in times of stress and pressure. Private sector leaders on the other hand tend to be more mischievous, indicating that they are more likely to react to stress by making daring, even uninformed, decisions.

The full report is published on Witt/Kieffer’s website. Read the full report.


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