Book Reviews

Book by Arthur Sandeen
Review by Ellen Manning Nagy
Director, Faculty Student Advising
Assistant Professor of German
Heidelberg University

How does one address serious issues in higher education? How might university leaders deal with reviewing general education requirements or student alcohol abuse? Arthur Sandeen provides an innovative approach in his book, Enhancing Leadership in Colleges and Universities: A Case Approach, by using case studies to demonstrate the challenges college and university administrators face. For advisors looking for a book to help them learn about these challenges and enhance their own leadership skills, Sandeen’s book is worth reading.

Enhancing Leadership in Colleges and Universities: A Case Approach is organized into four sections (Raising Money and Funding Services, Athletics and Facilities, Academic Policies, and Student Services) and contains eighteen case studies. Each case study includes a summary of the situation, background of the institution and the issue to be addressed. The case studies are realistic and all have wide ranging consequences for the institution involved. Some examples are: financial aid funding and fundraising strategies, establishing new athletics programs and a new athletic arena, revising a general education curriculum, student protests, student alcohol abuse, the performance evaluation of a senior leader, and restructuring career services. There are several options to address each issue and potential implications should that particular option be chosen. Sandeen also includes discussion questions and resources for further reading for each case.

The book focuses on applied leadership and the decision making process. Sandeen notes in the Preface, “The case study approach to improving insights and skills in leadership is predicated on the belief that leadership is learned, that it is a complex process demanding excellent analytic and personal skills, and that it often requires courage to act and to live with the consequences of one’s actions” (pg. vi).

The book is well written, very interesting, and easy to read. The options presented in each case study provide a variety of approaches to the issue at hand – some may want to challenge as they read! The book is suitable to a graduate program in higher education or leadership studies. Academic advisors interested in additional aspects of higher education will find the case studies beneficial in understanding how higher education leadership can and does work.


Enhancing leadership in colleges and universities: A Case approach (2011). Book by Arthur Sandeen. Review by Ellen Manning Nagy. SpringField, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. 236 pp., $54.95. ISBN 978-0-398-08600-8

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