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ERIC Number: ED554174
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 327
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7142-0
Internal or External: Community College Presidential Backgrounds and Management of the Presidency
Strickland, Shelley Renae
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Some in the education community have hypothesized that presidential candidates with external backgrounds, such as fundraising or development, have become more viable candidates for the presidency because of more externally-focused core competencies and expectations of the community college presidential role. This study investigated whether community college presidents with an "external" (fundraising) background lead and manage differently than those who approach the presidency from a traditional, "internal" (academic affairs) pathway. The purposefully selected sample was comprised of 19 community college presidents, 10 of whom represented a background in development and nine came from an academic affairs pathway. In-depth interviews were the primary method of data collection. Resource dependence theory informed the data collection and analysis. Findings suggest that referring to presidential candidates as having either "traditional academic pathways" or "external affairs backgrounds" may be misleading. Presidents from development can have experience, including academic roles, beyond just fundraising. Development experience, skills, and responsibilities can also apply to presidents coming from academic affairs. Community college presidents think they benefit from a broad and varied range of experiences prior to the presidency and believe they need both "internal" (academic) and "external" (fundraising) experience. Having prior fundraising experience appeared to give presidents from development an advantage in the presidency that an academic affairs career pathway did not typically offer. This study corroborates literature suggesting that academic affairs offers limited exposure to external responsibilities, particularly to fundraising. Presidents with development backgrounds had an initial advantage over their counterparts with academic affairs backgrounds in their early experience with board relations upon entering the presidency. Rather than being influenced by backgrounds alone, presidents approach and execute their roles according to their perceptions of the presidency. The study demonstrates that today's community college presidents--regardless of background--are functioning more externally than in the past. More than previous positions, other experiences and sensitivity to the environment explain management of the presidency as a more external role. [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; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A