We have a new and interim president at our university. He likes to tell stories. This is an effective management technique (see Managing by Storying Around) and teaching technique (see Teaching with Story: Classroom Connections to Storytelling) as well. It needs to go both ways.
I have always advocated that university administrators should teach a class or two a year, preferably an entry level course of some type. This way the administrator would get a real sense for the university’s students and the challenges its faculty face. If this is not practicable, my idea would be for the president, in this case, to solicit teaching stories from the faculty – maybe along the lines of the “A Year of Nights of Wondering” stories I have posted here. (I, II, III, IV, V, and VI). In my experience we, the teaching faculty, don’t get to share our daily experiences often enough and certainly a president needs to stay closely in touch with the university’s primary activity – teaching. We have lots of stories.