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ERIC Number: ED546531
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 366
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-8015-0
Lay Presidents in Jesuit Higher Education: Examining a Culture of Companionship
Russell, Stephanie Rossiter
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Since 2006 there has been a notable increase in the number of American Jesuit colleges and universities selecting non-Jesuit leaders to serve in the position of president. These "lay" presidents (i.e., not ordained priests) now comprise approximately one-third of all chief executives in Jesuit institutions, giving rise to questions about the effects of such appointments on the historic identity of Jesuit schools. In an effort to better understand this emerging phenomenon, "Lay Presidents in Jesuit Higher Education: Examining a Culture of Companionship" addresses two essential research questions: * How does the appointment of lay presidents affect the religious and academic mission and identity of Jesuit institutions? * What qualities of presidential leadership are necessary to sustain and advance the Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity of Jesuit colleges and universities in the future? The study was conducted using a collective case study method and cross-case analysis. Data were gathered on-site at three Jesuit colleges and universities that have appointed lay presidents since 2006, through personal and telephone interviews with key institutional leaders (presidents, chief academic officers, trustees, and administrators), focus groups with faculty and members of the Jesuit community, and documentary scans. Site-specific data were amplified by additional interviews with participants who are or have been leaders in Jesuit higher education, but have no current institutional affiliation with a particular Jesuit college or university. Drawing on the work of Edgar Schein and William Tierney, the organizational cultures of the cases were examined, paying particular attention to the mechanisms presidents employed to communicate and embed the school's mission and identity. The study sought to emphasize those phenomena of presidential leadership that were common across institutions, rather than highlighting the differences among individual cases. The triple-hermeneutic of "loss, evolution and call" was advanced as a means of understanding how presidents and other participants view lay presidencies and how this fundamental outlook affects current and future institutional decision making in advancing the academic and religious mission of Jesuit universities and colleges. [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