The position of presidential assistant is relatively new in the world of higher education and can still be a very hard-to-define occupation. In Other Duties as Assigned, veteran presidential assistants from all types of institutions describe the varied duties and responsibilities that they hold. The chapters span analyses of career paths, of gender, and of personal characteristics, as well as practical issues such as writing speeches, handling complaints, serving as the board secretary, and raising funds. The contributors have based their writing both on their experiences and on data from a national survey of the profession. This book is a seminal body of work that gives a comprehensive understanding of the many dimensions of presidential assistants, as well as providing practical advice about several key features of the role. As such, Other Duties as Assigned serves as a reference to existing presidential assistants as well as a guide to presidents contemplating the creation of such a position.
Mark P. Curchack is the associate vice president for planning and assessment, executive director of the president's office, and secretary of the board for Arcadia University. He first served in the role from 1987-2001. After a seven-year stint as graduate dean, he returned in 2008 to his current position under a new president. An anthropologist and former professor, he holds degrees from Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 From Whence They Came: Career Paths to the Presidential Assistant Position Chapter 3 The Role of Gender in the Profession of Presidential Assistant Chapter 4 Qualities of a Presidential Assistant Chapter 5 Managing the President's Office Chapter 6 Managing the Life of the President Chapter 7 Presidential Assistants and Institutional Advancement Chapter 8 Executive Speechwriting and Other Communications Chapter 9 Once Upon a Motion: A Board Secretary's Tale Chapter 10 The Nasty Stuff in a PAs Life: Handling Complaints Chapter 11 Presidential Assistants as Senior Administrators Chapter 12 A Career as a Presidential Assistant Chapter 13 What Do Presidential Assistants Do Next? Chapter 14 Juggling Jell-o: Other Duties as Assigned Chapter 15 Conclusion and Afterword