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ERIC Number: ED532684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 432
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-0924-3
The Role of Presidential Leadership in Promoting University-Community Engagement: A Study of "A Private University with a Public Purpose"
Awwad, Sawsan Tabry
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
Weerts' model of Institutional Commitment to Community Outreach and Engagement (2005) was adapted in this qualitative action research case study to fill a gap in the literature regarding: (a) a private university president's role in promoting "A Private University with a Public Purpose"; and (b) differences between public and private university presidents when impacting community engagement. Document analysis and interviews with thirty internal and external University stakeholders yielded the following conclusions: Leadership: The President substantially and positively impacted engagement through: (a) speeches, documents, and strategic plans; (b) intellectual and political support for engagement; (c) funding decisions and priorities; (d) public face of engagement; (e) leadership style, personal, and professional skills; and (f) attracting external funding for projects that benefit the University and the community. Campus Communications: the President: (a) dramatically enhanced campus publications; (b) branded the University's engagement identity; and (c) provided community leaders and partners direct access to his senior administration. Faculty and Staff Involvement: The President "indirectly" fostered faculty, staff, and students' engagement by drawing upon his personal and leadership skills, as well as providing an overall climate conducive to engagement. Institutional History and Culture: The President: (a) aligned engagement with the University's history, and (b) helped "shape" a culture conducive to engagement, while attending to enhancing the University's overall status and credibility internally and externally. Organizational Structure and Policies: The President: (a) influenced the structure and composition of senior administrative staff involved in grand-scale engagement projects; (b) encouraged student and faculty involvement through existing structures; and (c) urged and relied on the provost to address structural impediments to engagement for faculty. This study revealed that when promoting community engagement, a private university president is perceived to act differently from a public university president due to the University's voluntary choice to engage and the roadblocks and facilitators to engagement. This action research study yielded recommendations for future practice to enhance the University's overall engagement with the community. Recommendations are provided for future research on the University of Hartford's engagement in particular and the role of presidents in promoting higher education's community engagement in general. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A