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Widely regarded as one of the most active and publicly engaged university presidents in modern academia, Duderstadt—who led the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1996—presided over a period of enormous change, not only for his institution, but for universities across the country. His presidency was a time of growth and conflict: of sweeping new affirmative-action and equal-opportunity programs, significant financial expansion, and reenergized student activism on issues from apartheid to codes of student conduct.

Under James Duderstadt’s stewardship, Michigan reaffirmed its reputation as a trailblazer among universities. Part memoir, part history, part commentary, The View from the Helm extracts general lessons from his experiences at the forefront of change in higher education, offering current and future administrators a primer on academic leadership and venturing bold ideas on how higher education should be steered into the twenty-first century.

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