Shaping the Future of Advancement
Having a supportive environment in which to thoughtfully discuss difficult issues with colleagues is necessary for leaders in any industry. CASE hopes to provide that space at the Summit for Leaders in Advancement. As we gear up for July’s event, we spoke with Conference Chair Peter Hayashida of the University of California, Riverside, about what it takes to be a leader in today’s advancement landscape and what he hopes attendees will take away from Summit.
"Measure your success by the collective accomplishments and overall engagement of your team."
CASE: What are the tough topics senior leaders are facing in advancement and how can they shape those conversations?
Peter Hayashida: Staff turnover, institutional crises, decreasing enrollment and government funding, political pressures (free speech, uncomfortable aspects of the institution’s history), organizational culture, and sexual harassment.
Senior leaders can lean into the dialogue, both on campus and across the profession. Don’t wait for the next scandal to hit, take proactive steps now to honestly examine what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and what kinds of risks or exposures you have that can be mitigated. We must allocate emotional and intellectual resources to be future-focused.
CASE: How can senior leaders help improve the public perception of higher education?
PH: We can improve public perception by talking about the ways institutions are striving to stay true to their fundamental missions of preparing young adults to be leaders in industry, public service, and involved citizens of the world. And by acknowledging the challenges we all face: declining public support (both opinion and financial), rising tuition, etc. while reaffirming our accountability to stakeholders.
CASE: What are the most important traits of a successful leader?
PH: Vision, integrity, self-discipline, commitment, compassion, and humor.
CASE: What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve received?
PH: Measure your success by the collective accomplishments and overall engagement of your team. I have accomplished nothing of any significance alone; the support and hard work of many others are crucial to my personal and professional sense of joy.
CASE: Where do you find inspiration?
PH: I find inspiration in our students, prototypically first-generation, Pell-eligible students of color. I find inspiration in helping and watching individuals on my team achieve beyond their own expectations. I’m inspired by the passion and optimism the newest entrants to our profession bring to their work. I’m inspired by the promise of technology to expand access to education, domestically and around the world. I’m inspired by advances in social justice and human rights, even as tenuous as that progress can feel at times.
CASE: What do you hope attendees will get out of Summit this year?
PH: I hope each person leaves with a few provocative thoughts or ideas that they ponder on the plane, train, or car ride home. I hope at least one of those ideas informs action back on their home campuses. I hope more junior colleagues, who are aspiring leaders, understand that leadership happens in context, and that they can’t just be the best communicator, alumni engager, fundraiser, or advancement services provider, but they need to be informed, curious, thoughtful, and courageous human beings if they hope to shape the character of our profession in the years ahead.