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THE ACADEMIC PRESIDENCY
Address by GERALD L. BALILES, Former Governor of Virginia, Chairman, Commission on Academic Presidency
Delivered to the National press Club, Washington, D.C. September 9, 1996
Thank you Tom for our introduction and our leadership of AGB. And thank you ladies and gentlemen of the press and our other special guests who have taken time to be with us today to take a hard look at the challenges our colleges and universities face in the future.
The Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities is the catalyst behind the work of our Commission. We are grateful for that support. And we look forward to working with AGB in the months ahead to bring our message to college boards, presidents, faculty, and our state policy makers.
I am especially pleased that several of my colleagues on the Commission have joined us today. Their dedicated work over the past 14 months has resulted in what I hope the public will see as a vital statement on higher education leadership today, and what we need to do to prepare for the future.
I want to focus my remarks on three areas:
First, the external forces that impose powerful challenges to our higher education institutions.
Second, how these challenges mandate the need for stronger leadership, and why we need to reform our shared governance system to strengthen the academic presidency.
And, third, to highlight some of the recommendations we believe can make a difference.
Our recommendations are compelling.
Some of them may be controversial.
But, above all, they are offered in the spirit of helping our colleges and universities meet the enormous challenges before them.
With me today are six members of the Commission including:
Representative Ron Cowell of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives;
Eugene Grigsby, professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and trustee of Occidental College in California;
Michael Heyman, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley;
Delegate Nancy Kopp of the Maryland House of Delegates;
Michael Schwartz, president emeritus and Trustees' Professor of Kent State University; and
Alan Wurtzel, vice chairman of Circuit City Stores and trustee of Oberlin College in Ohio.
I'd also like to welcome the chair of the AGB's Board of Directors, Mary Louise Reid, who also serves as a trustee of the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and Christopher Newport University in Virginia.
In this political year we are going to hear a lot about the challenges that face us as a nation.
About the need to create jobs for the future.
About tax plans.
About a balanced budget.
About family values.
About health care.
About our environment.
And we are going to hear a great deal about education.
The Commission on the Academic Presidency has focused its work on the needs of higher education, which we believe has a direct bearing on all of these issues indeed, it is closely linked to the very health of …