The word university comes from the Latin univeritas magistrorm et scholarium, roughly translated to mean a “community of teachers and scholars” – initially as a company or a guild, and finally a corporation. Yet collegiality remains the key to success in the transmission of knowledge and skills to an emerging generation and the exploration of the yet-to-be-known is a disciplined yet collegial fashion.
The primary notion of such a community is academic freedom to teach, to search and to share without retribution or censure.
Nevertheless, any enterprise of such magnitude must be organized by disciplinary units and into corporate-wide management.
However, leadership of such an enterprise requires a great deal of patience, exhibited by an inordinate ability to listen as well as to have an institutional vision and the ability to make the case for the relevance of such an enterprise.
The bottom line is the president and any of his/her spokespeople must be champions of the community of scholars, teachers and students, demonstrated by being a defender of the total enterprise of learning and discovery – in the classroom, the laboratory, the clinic and the hospital, and its extended-care outreach.
The one who achieves the mastery of collegial leadership will be highly prized and respected. One does not need to demand or acquire perks and respect. One earns it.