Hampton University President Shares His 10 Principles of Leadership in New Book

Insights from an Icon of Higher Education Serve as Powerful Guide to Success


HAMPTON, Va. – In his inspiring and motivational new book, Principles of Leadership: The Harvey Leadership Model, Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey, an icon of higher education, shares the insights and philosophy that have shaped his empowering leadership model.

Set to be released on February 20, 2017 the book ($24.99, hardcover, Hampton University Press, available on Amazon.com) examines ten principles that have guided Dr. Harvey throughout a remarkable life and career, spanning his upbringing in Brewton, Alabama and his current role as one of the longest serving higher education presidents in the United States.

During his nearly 40-year tenure at the helm of one of the nation’s most prestigious small colleges, Dr. Harvey has helped usher in a remarkable era of growth. When he assumed the presidency of Hampton in the summer of 1978 the university’s endowment stood at $29 million. Today it exceeds $260 million, making it consistently in the top three of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) with the largest endowments.

“When I interviewed for the presidency at Hampton 39 years ago, I made it clear that if selected, I would run Hampton like a business for educational objectives,” said Harvey.

Harvey attributes much of his success to one of the principles he discusses in a chapter on fiscal conservatism, that also illustrates the compelling way he weaves throughout the book, the importance of his parents in framing his leadership philosophy. “I mentioned that my mother emphasized, ‘If you have a dollar, you can’t go to the grocery store and buy a dollar and twenty-five cents worth of groceries. This concept demonstrates sound thinking, and I have incorporated her views into my philosophy”.

In one particularly poignant account, Harvey describes the role his boyhood home played as a meeting place for civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his brother Rev. A. D. King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy. His father allowed him to be present during meetings but as Dr. Harvey describes, “He gave me permission to be present with the proviso that I could not ask a question, venture an opinion, or otherwise speak. As he would say, ‘You are to listen and learn.”

Another chapter deals with the importance of results, amply demonstrated in the growth of Hampton University under Dr. Harvey’s leadership. As he notes, “We at Hampton have realized undeniable success for almost four decades in the areas of academics and research, student enrollment and accomplishments, finances, the enhancement of the physical plant, and athletics”.  One of those accomplishments is the unique place the university holds as the first and only HBCU to have 100 percent control of a NASA mission, a global climate change project run by Hampton’s Atmospheric Science unit. For an example, Hampton currently has three satellites orbiting the earth and expects to launch another one within the very near future.  A powerful testament to Dr. Harvey’s influence and example, are the 17 former administrators of Hampton University who served under Dr. Harvey, and have gone on to become presidents of other institutions of higher learning.

“Dr. William Harvey is a phenomenal mentor who promotes and advances his staff, providing opportunities to soar above the eagles and to land safely when storms erupt as they inevitably will do,” said Dr. Elnora Daniel, former President of Chicago State University.

For anyone seeking to become an effective leader, in any endeavor, the core values, characteristics and insights outlined in Principles of Leadership: The Harvey Leadership Model, is a must-have guide.

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