Paul illuminates some of the ways in which Canadian universities are unique and uses these differences to make clear the importance of organizational cultural and institutional fit for leaders confronting critical academic issues such as academic leadership and accountability, student success and support, university funding and fund-raising, strategic planning, government and community relations, and internationalism. His analysis reaffirms some long-standing practices, while arguing that changes are badly needed in others. While much has been written about university leadership elsewhere, Leadership Under Fire focuses on Canada and some of the men and women who have made a real difference to the quality of its post-secondary institutions. Paul builds on their stories to offer useful perspectives and advice at a time when the quality of universities was never more critical to the country's economic, social, and political success.
While the role of the university president has evolved dramatically in recent years, the recruitment pool and selection process have changed little since the 1960s. In Leadership Under Fire, Ross H. Paul combines leadership theory, interviews with eleven of Canada's most successful presidents, and thirty-five years of personal experience to shed light on the complexity and importance of leading a university and identifies some of the critical challenges and opportunities facing Canadian universities today.