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ERIC Number: ED547326
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-4398-4
ISSN: N/A
An Investigation into Factors Leading to the Longevity in Tenure of California Community College Presidents
McDonald, Christopher
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
Community colleges are experiencing many challenges that stem from political and fiscal uncertainties and these challenges are often exacerbated by high turnover in executive leadership positions (Floyd et al., 2010), which has implications for longterm strategic planning. The magnitude of the problems associated with high turnover rates for community college presidents prompted the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to award a grant to the American Association of Community College (AACC) in 2003 for the specific purpose of documenting the requisite values, skills, and competencies for community college leaders (American Association of Community Colleges, 2005). The purposes of this study was therefore to add to the body of knowledge on community college presidents, investigate the factors leading to longevity in tenure for exemplary California community college presidents, and determine how the competency domains reported by the AACC relate to longevity in tenure for community college presidents. This mixed-methods study was designed to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the leadership skills that facilitate longevity in tenure for exemplary community college presidents? (2) What leadership-support structures enhance longevity in tenure for exemplary community college presidents? (3) What relationships do exemplary community college presidents create and maintain? (4) What factors and experiences are of significance in preparing exemplary community college presidents? And, (5) How are the AACC's competency domains related to longevity in tenure for exemplary community college presidents? Taking a comprehensive look at factors that enhance longevity in tenure for community college presidents required that qualitative and quantitative data be collected from multiple sources. Consequently, qualitative data were collected from 48 California community college presidents using a study specific survey instrument. In addition, qualitative data were collected from 48 California community college presidents using the survey instrument and interviews were conducted with four additional community college presidents, one retired community college president, one community college chancellor, two community college vice presidents, two board of trustee members, and two faculty leaders. The findings from this research revealed that longevity in tenure for community college presidents is enhanced by the president's ability to communicate with individuals and constituent groups, and the president's ability to speak before large audiences. Second, the president's ability to demonstrate a balance between expert knowledge and charisma as well as manage personnel, personnel conflicts, and change initiatives was linked to length in tenure. Third, presidents who have a natural tendency towards being patient with individuals and governance processes that are able to garner support from the board of trustees, professional networks, peer networks, mentors, and constituent leaders tend to have longer tenures as presidents. A fourth theme regarding experiences that enhance longevity suggests that aspiring presidents should spend time in diverse and increasingly challenging leadership roles in the community college system. Fifth, the data revealed that the collection of competencies specified by the AACC is more important with respect to longevity in tenure than the compilation of other skills and competencies identified in an extensive review of the literature. The final finding suggests that there are differences with respect to gender when considering the skills, competencies, and factors that enhance longevity in tenure for exemplary community college presidents. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California