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ERIC Number: ED525864
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 228
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9577-4
Navigating Change and Leading an Institution of Higher Education: A Case Study of the Missional Leadership of a University President
Bunn, Christopher Edward
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
The purpose of this qualitative, single case study is to explore key leadership principles and strategies related to the "good to great" pattern of growth at Lee University. In order to accomplish this purpose, this study investigates Dr. Paul Conn's thoughts and navigation through times of change, conflict, and the strategic execution of planned vision covering his tenure from 1986 to the present. The "good to great" pattern of growth at Lee University is defined in terms of sustainable results in the areas of university enrollment, campus expansion, university structure, financial resources, institutional reputation, range of student programs, athletics, and academic quality. This "good to great" pattern of growth meets the criteria set forth in the research of Jim Collins. This case study is interpretive in nature, and the data is used to support the theoretical assumptions of Jim Collins' "good to great" concept. This study interprets the "good to great" phenomenon or pattern of growth at Lee University through analyzing the leadership principles of Dr. Conn. Rather than merely describing the data reported in interviews and documents, all data is placed in categories that conceptualize the leadership principles supporting the "good to great" pattern. These categories originate from the work of Michael Fullan and Geoff Scott and serve as the following chapter headings in the research findings: listening strategy, linking strategy, leading/modeling strategy, teaching strategy, and learning strategy. The research design includes three primary phases of research: interviews, documentation, and analysis. For this study, Dr. Conn provided a potential list of approved faculty/staff members to strengthen validity during the interview process. From this list, chosen participants served under the leadership of Dr. Conn for at least 75% of his tenure. The researcher used focused interviews for the following: University President (1), Vice President(s) (2), and Professor (1). The interview questions follow the structure of Jim Collins' questions utilized in his "Good to Great" research. Each interview was recorded and transcribed for coding purposes. Lee College "Self Studies" of 1984 and 1994 were used for historical documentation and to provide a comparison of data before Dr. Conn became president and eight years following his selection as president. "Torch" magazine, the university's official publication, the "Faculty Handbook and Constitution," student handbooks, "Celebration" publications, articles from the university newspaper--"The Clarion", archival records, and the school website served to provide data for the triangulation process covering Dr. Conn's full tenure. Concluding findings identify key leadership principles and strategies in which Dr. Conn has implemented during his tenure at Lee University. These principles were framed within the context of Fullan and Scott's six "turnaround" leadership strategies and examined from the perspective of higher education. Some of the principles uncovered through in-depth analysis of themes could benefit other institutions of higher education and may deserve reflection for further study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A