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ERIC Number: ED554937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 134
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9767-3
Presidents of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities: A Study of the Successful Attainment of Six Female Presidents
Porterfield, Deana Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of La Verne
Purpose: Little is known about the trajectory experiences of the female presidents within U.S. member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of how female presidents understand and describe their successful attainment of presidencies within CCCU institutions. Methodology: Using a phenomenological approach (Groenewald, 2004), this exploratory, qualitative study examined the lived experiences of the six female presidents, focusing on decisions to go for the presidency and how presidents described their life trajectories toward attainment of presidential roles. Data were gathered on individual campuses in face-to-face interviews with all six presidents, and they provide implications for future female presidents, boards of trustees, search firms, future leaders, and other scholars. Findings: The eight themes emerging from the data described the participants' perceptions of their decision to go for the presidency, as well as their trajectory toward the attainment of the presidential role. The themes included (a) ambivalence to the attainment of the presidential role, (b) allowing themselves to be pursued, (c) influence of male patrons, (d) discerning the call, (e) prior relationship to institution and insider familiarity with institutional culture, (f) perceptions of work-related availability, (g) standing in the gap during institutional crises, and (h) supportive community climate. All eight themes were represented in responses from no less than four of the six participants and provided insight into the women's successful attainment of presidencies in the CCCU institutions. Conclusions: Most critical to this study is the understanding of the participants' spiritual call and dependence on God. Since none aspired to the presidential role, the connection between all eight themes is critical in understanding attainment. Recommendations: This study may create an opportunity for the CCCU and member institutions to develop clearer channels of communication with women who aspire to greater leadership positions. The focus should be on board diversity, presidential accessibility, networking, and relationship-building opportunities for female leaders across the CCCU. [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