Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 19

The Politics of Gaining Internal Support

Advancement managers who understand the leadership characteristics of their campus executives are more likely to garner support for their programs, says a CASE faculty member.

Larry Lauer, vice chancellor for government affairs at Texas Christian University, recently spoke at the Institute for Senior Marketing and Communications Professionals in Washington, D.C.about how advancement leaders can navigate campus politics and deal with various types of campus executives.

When dealing with institutional leaders who came to academe from the corporate world, Lauer suggests that advancement managers speak their language and adopt business terminology in closed-door meetings. This will ensure that both parties can relate to one another.

When dealing with those new to campus leadership, Lauer says it's important to understand how added responsibilities can change personalities. He notes that sometimes new leaders are unaccustomed to accountability and, therefore, defer decisions on important matters. In this circumstance, he advises advancement managers to push to ensure decisions relevant to their work are made.

When there are political tidal waves on a campus—such as a leadership change, building boom or financial crisis—Lauer says advancement managers should make sure they have colleagues from other campus divisions who will support them and their cause in front of institutional executives.

"You need to activate supporters, educate neutral parties and ignore detractors," he adds. "Make deals, collect third-party advocates and clarify objectives."

Further counsel from Lauer on a wide array of issues can be found in the CASE book, Learning to Love the Politics: How to Develop Institutional Support for Advancement.

This article is from the Oct. 29, 2012 issue.

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