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Dealing with change and tough conversations on campus

President Elizabeth Davis (right) meets with senior administrators to discuss an initiative aimed at improving students' educational experience.

Furman University President Elizabeth Davis and Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs Professor Kate Kaup are featured in a new guide published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Preparing for Tough Conversations: How to Set the Stage for Major Change on Your Campus.”

The publication includes details about Furman’s efforts to create a new vision for the university.

According to Lee Gardner, author of the 26-page publication, the report “offers college leaders and aspiring leaders practical advice on how to prepare for tough conversations with stakeholders, communicate effectively, and wrest positive change from all those meetings you can count on attending.”

The Chronicle talked to President Davis about how she led conversations around implementing the university’s new vision, The Furman Advantage, and how she included faculty in the process.

“Creating an ‘us against them,’ or ‘Here’s what we’re doing, and you better come along,’ — it’s just not going to be successful in the long run,” Davis said.

The writer also interviewed professor and former faculty chair Kaup, who said President Davis did a “good job of soliciting faculty input and involvement at Furman” and was “very attuned from the beginning to that need.”

The Chronicle publication, in print and electronic form, may be purchased here.

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