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10 Winter Break Reads for Higher Education Leaders

10 Winter Break Reads for Higher Education Leaders

Winter break can be an opportunity to hit pause on the day-to-day of our professional lives, spend quality time with loved ones during the holidays, and maybe even lose ourselves in the pages of a good book. But unlike the pure escapism of summer reading, the best winter break read can often propel us into the New Year (the midpoint in most academic years, after all) with renewed optimism and energy.

For your mid-year rejuvenation, we'd like to suggest ten titles that cover three of the areas near and dear to our hearts at the University Innovation Alliance: equity, leadership, and higher education. These books have been recommended by presidents, chancellors, and educators during our interviews for the Innovating Together Podcast. Since the start of the pandemic, my co-hosts and I have asked our guests to tell us what they're reading. And as we did in our blog 9 Summer Beach Reads for Higher Education Leaders, we're happy to share a few more of those titles.

We hope this list will get you thinking about both where we've come from and where we're heading as educators, as citizens, and as members of society. Wishing you a relaxing, inspiring, and well-deserved winter break. Happy reading!

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Freeman Hrabowski, III, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington (Kim Wilcox, University of California, Riverside)
Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (Kim Wilcox)
Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement by Janet Poppendieck (Sara Goldrick-Rab, Temple University)

The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance by James Autry (Wendy Wintersteen, Iowa State University)
The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership by Steven Sample (Mark P. Becker, Georgia State University, and Alexander Cartwright, University of Central Florida)

Higher Education
Building the Intentional University: Minerva and the Future of Higher Education by the Minerva Project (Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College)
The Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University by Frank Rhodes (Mark P. Becker)
The Neglected Majority by Dale Parnell (Michael Rao, Virginia Commonwealth University)
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (Kim Wilcox)

Note: The interviews cited in this blog were drawn from the Weekly Wisdom and Scholarship to Practice series and originally aired between April 20, 2020 and August 30, 2021 as part of the University Innovation Alliance’s Innovating Together Podcast, created in partnership with Inside Higher Ed.

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