ERIC Number: ED305884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-17
Reference Count: N/A
The President as Sociologist as President.
Scott, Robert A.
Personal reflection on the role of college or university presidents and how their professional academic preparation influences how they accomplish things is presented. Evidence of the sociological imagination is noted. A review of how others have viewed their positions as president is included. In a recent summary, findings on the college president's role from 350 interviews at 32 institutions shows presidents use different kinds of power (i.e. reward, coercive, leverage) to influence the attainment of goals. In exercising this power, presidents seemed to frame their position and style of leadership in one or more ways such as bureaucratic, collegial, political, or symbolic. The personal reflection is that these categories are too neat, and the president's role is one responsible for sustaining an institutional vision and for maintaining and enhancing the environment for teaching and learning. The institution has the dual mission as a campus in service to people and as a college, social organization, and part of society. How this view is influenced by the study of sociology and anthropology is noted. The "personal troubles of milieu" and the "public issues of structure" are discussed. It is concluded that "the sociological imagination" has influenced the following: the conception of the institution as a campus and a college; a concern for organizational structures supporting individual aspirations; attention to explication and interpretation as a means of illuminating reality; and a belief that effective communication requires an understanding of mutual expectations and context. Contains 4 references. (SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Association (Baltimore, MD, March 17, 1989).