LeBlanc’s retirement unsurprising to higher education experts – The GW Hatchet – GW Hatchet

Higher education administration experts said University President Thomas LeBlanc’s announcement that he will be stepping down next year comes as no surprise, given the ongoing tensions between him and the GW community.

Experts said university presidents tend to leave after faculty express doubts in their leadership, which LeBlanc experienced after a recent faculty survey indicated a loss of confidence in his administration. They said in his remaining year at GW, LeBlanc may choose to focus on behind-the-scenes work like boosting fundraising, or he could aim to leave on a high note by ensuring an easy transition for his successor.

Chris Bonneau, the president the University of Pittsburgh’s Faculty Senate, said LeBlanc may use his last year as president to focus on managing the University with a lower profile through fundraising and other initiatives that tend to receive less public attention.

“People don’t notice the president when everything’s going well,” he said. “So if the University runs smoothly, and you guys get a good entering class and budgets are stabilized and so on, then I think it’ll be fine.”

He said the faculty survey results indicated that it would have been difficult for faculty to buy into and support new initiatives from administrators if LeBlanc stayed at GW.

“In my opinion, it creates an unworkable environment,” he said.

Victor Borden, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University Bloomington, said outgoing university presidents generally use their last years to streamline academic programs, diversify campus spending and tackle underlying issues. He said
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