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George Daly
Business school dean

George Daly

George Daly is Dean of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. An accomplished scholar, he also has taught courses on leadership and economics.

Tradition-driven institutions

Q: How would you assess the leadership of college presidents in embracing new technology and innovative teaching techniques aimed at reducing costs, improving quality and reengineering higher education? What leadership steps would you recommend for them?

Conventional universities tend to be tradition-driven institutions. This makes them slow to respond to important external changes. At the current time, these include soaring tuition levels, dramatic changes in the technology of transferring information, and the rise of new, innovative sources of competition, ranging from for-profit educational institutions to the free-standing professional schools that are coming to play decisive roles in the Europe, Israel, and elsewhere in the developed world.

How should university presidents' respond? I believe they need to re-examine the likely consequences of these changes for their own institution's viability into the future. My own belief is that, when this is done, these same universities will conclude that some of their most cherished traditions will need to be adapted in ways that place much greater emphasis on matters such as efficiency, accountability, and responsiveness.

The institutions most vulnerable will be a combination of those that are perceived to be of low quality and those whose institutional cultures most strongly promote denial. Interestingly, this latter group consists of some of the country's most prestigious institutions.

By George Daly

 |  May 25, 2010; 6:16 AM ET
Category:  Education leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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