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Leading the Public University

Leading the Public University

David C. Hardesty, Jr.
HC/J  978-1-933202-30-3


Leading the Public University provides an account of the challenges faced by public higher education through the eyes of a man who spent over a decade as the head of a major public university. This compilation of essays, speeches, and articles written during the administration of David C. Hardesty, Jr., depicts the history of West Virginia University during the twelve-year period that he led from 1995–2007 while representing the communication tools he used to achieve cultural change and to advance the university’s official agenda.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction · Follow Your Instincts
  • Part One · Lessons Learned: Leadership Principles and Practices
    1. Recognizing Lessons Learned at the Turn of the Century: The Final State of the University Address
    2. Ten Characteristics of a Highly Effective Organization
    3. Lifelong Learning for Leaders and Organizations
    4. Building Leadership Capacity
    5. Leader Overlord: The Opperational Risks of a Robust Organizational Agenda
    6. Can Education Be Run Like a Business?
    7. Leading Change: Remarks to the Nataional Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
  • Part Two · Mission, Vision, and Values: The President as University Advocate
    1. Getting Started: The Inaugural Address
    2. Marking Progress in the State University Addresses
    3. A Plea for Public Support of Higher Education
    4. The Joy of Teaching, Inside and Outside of the Classroom
    5. Involving Parents in Support of the Mission: The West Virginia University Moutaineer Parents Club
      By Susan B. Hardesty
    6. The Vital Role of the Private Donor: West Virginia University's Randolph Cancer Center Gala
    7. The Role of Women at West Virginia University
      By Susan B. Hardesty
    8. The Value and Perils of Intercollegiate Athletics
    9. The Meaning of Social Justice
    10. Priests of the Temple
  • Part Three · Teaching Momenst: A President's Call to Action
    1. Remarks after September 11
    2. Remarks to New Citizens of the United States at a Naturalization Ceremony
    3. Finding Wisdom in the Information Age
    4. Champion for Youth Development Programs
    5. Celebrating Volunteers: First Annual Conference on Volunteerism
    6. Encouraging Student Success
    7. Supporting Productive Communities
  • Part Four · Education and Experience: Preparing for Leadership
    1. Reflections on Our Journey to Service
    2. Reflections on Undergraduate Growth: For the 125th Anniversary of Woodburn Hall
    3. Reflections on the Oxford Experience: Residential Education as Preparation for Leadership
    4. Leading Lawyers: Why Lawyers Lead in America
    5. The Education of a Volunteer: Report of the Chairman to the University System Board of Trustees
    6. Afterword · Brining Closure, Time to Say Goodbye: A Letter of Farewell to the University Community
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 1 · Timeline of Speeches
  • Appendix 2 · The Numbers at WVU
  • Biographical Information
  • References and Cited Works


David C. Hardesty, Jr., served as president of his undergraduate alma mater, West Virginia University, from 1995–2007. He also holds degrees from Oxford University and Harvard Law School. His presidency has been recognized for its student-centered initiatives and its commitment to West Virginia’s economic development. Enrollment, research activity, and endowments also grew rapidly under his leadership.