Systems Thinking Not Just for Business Anymore

Academic Leader

Marianne Sullivan, associate professor at Medaille College and executive officer in the University at Buffalo's Computer Science and Engineering Department, believes that systems thinking—a popular business approach to leadership that considers the interrelationships of various units—can help higher education institutions meet students' changing needs, provide quality education, and ensure financial sustainability. "Every single entity of a higher education institution is part of the entire system, and it's very important for that system to continually work together. Everybody needs to be involved, but it's very difficult changing someone who's been accustomed to managing his or her position one way," Sullivan says.

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