1st Edition

Iconic Leaders in Higher Education

By Roger L. Geiger Copyright 2011
    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    269 Pages
    by Routledge

    Iconic leaders are those who have become symbols of their institutions. This volume of historical studies portrays a collection of college and university presidents who acquired iconic qualities that transcend mere identification with their institution.

    The volume begins with Roger L. Geiger's observation that creating and controlling one's image requires managing publicity. Andrea Turpin describes how Mount Holyoke Seminar's evolution into a modern women's college required reshaping the image of Mary Lyon, its founder. Roger L. Geiger and Nathan M. Sorber show how College of Philadelphia provost William Smith's partisan politics and patronage tainted the college he symbolized. Joby Topper reveals how presidents Seth Low of Columbia and Francis Patton of Princeton mastered the modern art of publicity.

    Katherine Chaddock explains how John Erskine—the Columbia University English professor responsible for the first Great Books program—and his unusual career inverted the normal route to iconic status. In contrast, Christian Anderson's analysis of John G. Bowman, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, shows how he substituted architectural vision for academic leadership. James Capshew explores the background that made Herman Wells a revered leader of Indiana University. Nancy Diamond details how building Brandeis University involved a challenging series of decisions successfully navigated by founding president Abram Sachar. Finally, Ethan Schrum depicts how Clark Kerr's controversial understanding of the role of contemporary universities was formed by his earlier career in industrial relations. This study of iconic leaders probes new dimensions of leadership and the construction of institutional images.

    Tarnished Icon: William Smith and the College of Philadelphia; Memories of Mary: Changing Interpretations of the Founder in the Secularization Process of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College, 1837–1937; College Presidents, Public Image, and the Popular Press: A Comparative Study of Francis L. Patton of Princeton and Seth Low of Columbia, 1888–1902; The Making of a Celebrity President: John Erskine and the Juilliard School; Building an Icon: The Rise and Fall of John G. Bowman, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, 1921–1945; Encounters with Genius Loci : Herman Wells at/and/of Indiana University; Clark Kerr’s Early Career, Social Science, and the American University; The “Host at Last”: Abram Sachar and the Establishment of Brandeis University


    Roger L. Geiger