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ERIC Number: ED554866
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 146
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-3529-3
A Qualitative Case Study of Hurricane Katrina and University Presidential Leadership
McNeely, Stanton Francis, III
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Leaders of many institutions of higher education are not equipped to manage a major crisis or disaster, and presidential leadership during a disaster is essential, as university presidents are ultimately accountable for the well-being of their institutions. Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, flooding 80% of the city for many weeks including the campus of Xavier University of Louisiana (XUL). In the nearly eight years since the disaster, presidents of the institutions of higher education that were affected by the devastation have worked to lead their colleges and universities toward recovery. One of these leaders has been Dr. Norman Francis, XUL president. The purpose of the qualitative case study was to assess the leadership practices of XUL President Francis after Hurricane Katrina using Kouzes and Posner's (2007) Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership theory (FELT). Data collection was in the form of interviews with a purposeful sample that included the XUL president, members of the XUL Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as, key community leaders. The major themes that emerged for the leadership "practices" used by Dr. Francis were the FELT constructs of Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, and Challenge the Process, as well as, the non-FELT leadership practice of Communication. FELT practices of Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart emerged as minor themes. Major convergent leadership "characteristics" displayed by the XUL president were Confidence and Integrity; minor themes were Optimism and Faith. Recommendations for practice include for leaders during a crisis to: (a) utilize strong Communication with the use of the FELT constructs; (b) emphasize the use of the FELT constructs of Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, and Challenge the Process; and (c) continuously display Confidence, Integrity, Optimism, and Faith. Recommendations for future research included application of qualitative methods to further study: (a) presidential leadership of an institution that did not return after a crisis, (b) other types of institutions of higher education, and (c) presidential leadership practices at institutions where the successful recovery was less certain. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana