Over the past year we have seen shootings and suicides on various campuses, including here at the University of Texas at Austin, and the shooting in Arizona of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Each of these events has led to reviews of practices for dealing with mental illness. It has also led to people being more willing to talk about these issues.
In a previous article, we discussed a pernicious dynamic that many campus presidents are victims of as they endeavor to lead their institutions. We identified it as "the seduction of the leader," a term that was first introduced to us by our colleague Rodney Napier. In short, it describes how presidents often do not receive pertinent information and honest feedback about their ideas because followers are reluctant to provide it to them.