ERIC Number: EJ1022790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
The Next Best President
Sanderson, Larry P.
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v38 n6 p523-533 2014
Choice of a new president is a decision of great importance to individuals within the organization and to the community the college serves. An issue in the search process is the continued domination of presidential candidates by Whites, particularly White males, contrary to changing demographics of student and national populations. For the most part, the search committee has resisted examination by those outside the process partly because of issues of confidentiality and partly because of an amorphous mystique that wards off close examination. This study is a critical ethnographic study of search committees at two comprehensive community colleges. It begins the process of deconstructing presidential searches by viewing the process through the eyes and experiences of individual search committee members, successful candidates, and executive search consultants. Through their stories, we recognize the search process as a ceremonial activity focused on serving varied constituencies as a means of conveying legitimacy on the final selectee. We see the process as a central activity within the culture of higher education and, yet, as one that has inherent flaws posing risks to candidates, participants, and potentially falling short of the stated objective of choosing the next best president for the institution. Nevertheless, as the research evolves, we begin to identify ways in which the key ceremonial nature of the process can be maintained while functional components are changed in order to better protect the individuals involved and position the institutions to select the next best president.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Search Committees (Personnel), College Presidents, Ethnography, Interviews, Expectation, Time Perspective, Profiles, Integrity, Ethnic Diversity, Accountability, Administrative Change
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A