Public higher education is an institution founded on a student centered public service ideology. The modern higher education climate includes the immense challenge of balancing public service, community relations and student needs against the bottom line. The literature reviewed aimed to evaluate the relational effect of authentic leadership on the leader-follower relationship, change management, and performance along with current trends in public higher education related to leadership and education policy. Research has shown that authentic leadership impacts employee empowerment, job satisfaction, innovation, performance, and engagement etc., with emotions, trust, consistency, and self-awareness as mediators. In the spirit of service, I explore what it means to be an authentic leader and demonstrate the effectiveness of an authentic leadership approach in organizational settings, proposing its adoption among leaders in public higher education to support a student centered service ideology and practice.