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"True leaders know where they want to go, act honestly and communicate effectively."

Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, Full Professor of business Informative and President of the University between 2012 and 2022, publishes Gobierno de Universidades.

PhotoManuelCastells/Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero

11 | 05 | 2023

"True leaders know where they want to go, act honestly and communicate effectively". This is how Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, Full Professor of business Informativa and author of the book Gobierno de Universidades. Desafíos, modelos y estrategias (EUNSA). It is the first in the collection of the Center for University Governance and Reputation. Professor Sánchez-Tabernero, who was President of the University of Navarra between 2012 and 2022, analyzes in the work what university quality consists of, what mission statement those responsible for the campus, and what is the profile of good governors.

"I'm a little wary of charismatic leaders. We all have flaws and limitations and no manager knows everything. On the other hand, in good governance teams, everyone brings his or her experience and perspective; the weaknesses of some are compensated by the strengths of others; conversations among colleagues encourage reflection and help improve the quality of decisions," says the book's author.

Every ruler must act with judgment, determination and empathy, which, in his opinion, are like the head, arms and heart of those who perform government tasks. "Criterion is used to make the right strategic decisions; determination implies persevering in the effort when the road is uphill; and empathy is used to mobilize and inspire collaborators", he assures.

The author of the monograph assures that "arbitrary, choleric, inconstant or with little mental order people lack conditions for government". But the real "test of cotton" consists of putting someone to govern. "Only then is it possible to see if that person can face complex challenges with wisdom and serenity," he says. 

Universities, essential institutions for progress

The book Gobierno de Universidades. Challenges, Models and Strategies is the result of a pathway staffwhich intermingles proposals and experiences on the centers of higher education Education . The monograph is addressed to those in charge of these centers, but also to those who wish to know the behind the scenes of the campus: with which levers strategic projects are promoted; which conflicts arise most frequently; where the bottlenecks are located; how to instill the innovative spirit that avoids decadence...

"Universities are essential institutions for the progress of society: they educate responsible citizens and produce 70 percent of the world's output research . The book aims to help universities better perform this crucial role," explains the author.

University quality, according to Full Professor, requires achieving a variety of objectives, but it highlights three: "To provide students with a memorable learning experience; to produce relevant science in the service of society; and to become involved in the most pressing problems of the immediate environment".

In addition, the best universities, in his opinion, share the following characteristics: they devote a lot of resources to research; a high percentage of their students receive some form of researcha high percentage of their students receive some form of financial support subject of scholarship or financial aid ; their income comes from a wide variety of sources; they are not-for-profit; and their governors have an effective system of rewards and penalties that allow them to advance their projects and priorities.

More than 25 years of government

Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero has been President (2012-2022), Vice President (2005-2012) and Dean of the School of Communication (1996-2005) at the University of Navarra. He was also president of the European average Management Education Association and professor at the universities of Manchester, the Basque Country, and the Institute for average & Entertainment in New York. He has been Visiting Professor of Northwestern University (Chicago) and the École Supérieure de Commerce (Paris) and has been an advisor to higher Education institutions in fourteen countries. His research has dealt with the strategic management of communication companies. He has received the Award of Honor from the Journal of average Economics and the EMMA Award.