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ERIC Number: ED568520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 201
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-7000-2
The Unusual Suspects: A Narrative Restorying of Six American Immigrants' Journeys to the College Presidency
Ly, Vi
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, California Lutheran University
The purpose of this narrative study is to explore the lived experiences and motivations that propelled six American immigrants to lead American higher education institutions. This study focused particularly on immigrant college presidents for whom English is not a native language to examine if accent or lack of native fluency posed a challenge to their journey and leadership. Participants for this study were found through purposive sampling. The research relies on in-depth interviews with six participants about their childhood and education experiences in their home country, their immigrant experience in the U.S., and their career pathways toward the college presidency. The stories they told were restoried into a chronological sequence emphasizing place and time. Seven themes emerged from the narratives including two which deal with the participants' motivation for success: (a) Familial obligation, gratitude and a sense of debt to parental sacrifices; and (b) A commitment to social justice and equity. The number of participants is limited due to the storytelling methodology however; it is also limited because there are not many foreign-born college presidents for whom English is not a native language. A major finding that may impact presidential hiring policy and presidential search practice is that five out six participants are leading community colleges. Only one participant is heading a four-year public institution. Finally, this researcher hopes the personal stories and themes that emerged from this study may inspire more individuals who do not fit the traditional college president profile, yet possess the skills, desire and motivation, to apply for the role of college president. [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; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A