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ERIC Number: ED556964
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 212
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-1883-4
Public Research University Performance and Presidential Succession Events: 2000-2010
Wofford, Tracey M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
The U.S. public research university performance narrative is dominated by "access, affordability, and accountability" rhetoric (National Science Foundation, 2012), while public policy advocacy is weakened (Basken, 2012), and presidents become increasingly transitory (Monks, 2012). The purpose of this study was to explore if presidential succession events at top American public research universities from 2000 to 2010 were associated with quantified proxy variables for access (IPEDS enrollment), affordability (IPEDS cohort default rates), and accountability ("Top American Research Universities" report rankings; The Center for Measuring University Performance, 2014). Three research questions were answered via a quantitative non-experimental study of archived data exploring university performance measures during presidents' succession events via descriptive statistics and Pearson r correlation coefficient analysis. The population was the 147 Carnegie Classifications™ Very High (RU/VH) and High (RU/H) public research universities. Data sources were 2000-2012 presidential succession events manually counted from institutions' websites, IPEDS annual fall enrollment and annual cohort default rates, and the eleven "Top American Research Universities" reports for annual ranking index scores. Via a conceptual framework of shared governance and a theoretical framework of Hambrick and Mason's 1984 Upper Echelon theory, the study found no correlation between presidential succession events and enrollment (r = 0.07) or cohort default rates (r = 0.09). There was a small positive correlation (r = 0.15) between presidential succession events and rankings. The study concluded that public research universities' performance in terms of access, affordability, and accountability was not associated with presidential succession events from 2000-2010. The implications suggest top tier research universities' performance is likely resilient to upper echelon leadership behaviors and turnover. Further study is recommended to explore correlation of performance to other entities in the academy, correlation of presidential succession to other leadership metrics, as a qualitative study, or to replicate this study as longitudinal with other variables, timeframes, or types of institutions. Presidents' use of the bully pulpit in reclaiming and recasting vision for role of research universities is needed for possible solutions to unsustainable enrollment growth and pay for performance models of accountability. [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