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ERIC Number: ED546528
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-8011-2
Passing the Baton: The Last 100 Days of the College Presidency
Johnson, Sandra Swanson
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Over the past half-century, the college president's job and its associated expectations have grown increasingly complex. At the same time, colleges and universities across the United States are facing an unprecedented rate of anticipated turnover among college presidents (King & Gomez, 2008). Current statistics show that approximately 70% of presidents are coming from outside the institution, which has fueled increased attention to the transition process at the beginning of a presidency--but little to the transition period at the end of a president's tenure (Birnbaum, 1989, 1993; Bornstein, 2005, 2010a, 2010b; Bullock, 2007; Cohen & March, 1974; Denton & Moore, 2009; Gaudiani, 1996; Gilmore, 2003; Martin & Samels, 2004, McLaughlin, 1996; Sanaghan, Goldstein, & Gaval, 2008). Leadership transitions are among the most important events in an institution's history. A successful leadership transition is important not only to the individuals involved, but also--because the process can be destabilizing--to the institution as a whole. Ultimately, embracing the opportunities of the leadership transition and managing it effectively, from beginning to end, will have a profound effect on the institution's ability to move into an new era. Findings from this study challenge the mainstream approach--which focuses on the new president's transition in--and demonstrate that leadership transitions are not one-sided. The purpose of this multiple case study was to examine college presidents' experiences the last 100 days of their presidency. Using qualitative research methods, including interviews, document analysis, and supplemental data, the study addressed the primary research questions of with "whom" outgoing presidents spent their time, in "what" context, and "why." Presidents play a critical role in an increasingly complex organization, and this study concludes that the transition of leadership--the passing of the baton between two presidents--deserves increased attention. Transitions, by definition, have both a starting and ending point. Developing innovative strategies for an effective transition of the presidency is possible--but the involvement of the incumbent, the board, and the senior leadership team are critical parts of the transition equation. [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