It's a tough time to be a college president.
But a handful of rising stars have transcended challenges and earned themselves a spot on Education Dive's "5 higher ed leaders to watch in 2018 (and beyond)" list.
1: Sharon Gaber, University of Toledo (UT)
Under Gaber's leadership, UT has received praise from Ohio's public institutions for UT's savvy cost-reform plans, Education Dive reports. As UT's first female president, Gaber has focused her efforts on improving student success.
2: Harold Martin, North Carolina A&T State University (N.C. A&T)
Under Martin's leadership, N.C. A&T has bucked declining enrollment trends for four-year institutions to see record enrollment numbers, Education Dive writes. During his tenure, Martin has increased the out-of-state enrollment cap to 25%, focused on recruiting students with an interest in STEM, and doubled down on retaining in-state students.
3: Becky Takeda-Tinker, Colorado State University–Global Campus
As president of one of the few fully online state universities, Takeda-Tinker is becoming a thought leader on online learning policy, Education Dive reports. She is also leading the efforts to innovate adult learning education through alternative credential providers.
Related: Three strategies to grow adult learner enrollments
4: Bob Fisher, Belmont University
Fisher won over Belmont's student body with his firm and vocal position against "hate, bigotry, and prejudice," on campus, Education Dive reports. After expelling a first-year student for a racist message on Snapchat, Fisher received praise from the university's student newspaper. According to Education Dive, Fisher's appeal to students underscores the powerful role learners play within the institution.
Also see: How one college's response to the immigration ban went viral
5: Ruth Simmons, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU)
Before PVAMU, Simmons made history as the first African-American president at Brown University, where she led a $1.6 billion fundraising campaign, Education Dive reports. As PVAMU'S first female president, Simmons is focusing on recruiting top researchers for their faculty and growing enrollment (Arnett, Education Dive, 1/17).
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