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At 1:07pm on July 31, 2008, Sabrina Compagno said…
Tim, just received this from Don -

That's an interesting question. I know it comes from the UK, but some of the same concepts are shared on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since every job originates as a need for a capability, the likelihood for success increases if the applicant can demonstrate transferable excellence in that capability. Consider this example: a senior leader in the corporate world decides she needs an EVP for Business Development. She can describe that capability as a collection of observable behaviors that define excellence in business development--in any business. Even if the titles change, business development is business development--even if the "business" is a university. And so, a very capable Director of Alumni Affairs, Dean of Admissions, President or Chancellor (whose primary job is raising money) has such a set of transferable skills.

You'll notice the people who are most likely to make the transition come not from the faculty (professors), but from the university staff.

The faculty has fewer opportunities, but isn't left entirely in out in the cold. Every post-secondary school in the US has a tri-partite mission: teach, research, and serve. The mixture varies with the school. If I have a full professor who has extended his expertise to working with the community (the "serve" part of the mission) or done some pioneering research, there may be a need for such skills outside academia. Typically those jobs fall into R&D (research and development), think tank, Chief Learning or Chief Knowledge Officer positions.

In summary, an academic who can convince a hiring decision maker that he can make the company money that it costs to hire him will be hired. The key to making that argument is based on demonstrating not what he has done, but how his accomplishments demonstrate his ability to bring value to the next employer. He must also demonstrate that contrary to conventional wisdom, schools do operate just as business do--developing markets, selling "products," building customer relationships.

Does that help?



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