ERIC Number: EJ1132311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Faculty Expressions of (No) Confidence in Institutional Leadership
Frantz, Alan C.; Lawson, Jonathan N.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v49 n1 p62-70 2017
Although institutions of higher education rarely crumble and fall in the wake of votes of no confidence in their leadership--in presidents, senior administrators, or even governing boards--those expressions of discontent do have meaning. They suggest something awry at the institution, and even the potential to precipitate change. They also present an opportunity for a serious assessment of campus governance, communication, and processes. Occasionally some observers wonder whether no confidence votes are becoming more common. This study seeks to fill a gap in the higher education literature on votes of no confidence. The authors collected fifteen years of data on such votes (2000 through 2014). They chose, however, to call them "expressions of (no) confidence in institutional leadership," because they found more than "votes," and the "objects" of the expressions included trustees and administrative levels above and below the campus president/chancellor. Not all were expressions of no confidence; instead, a few were outright votes of confidence in the president. This study relied principally on simple internet-based document analysis, utilizing reports of expressions of confidence or no-confidence found via internet searches. Sources primarily included reports in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" and "InsideHigherEd," followed by local newspapers, television station reports, newsletters, blogs, faculty senate minutes or union reports, and augmented by email inquiries requesting information that was unavailable in the published reports. ion of institution, whether public or private, and state; type, source, object of the expression (male/female/not applicable); and outcome of the expression(s); reasons expressed by faculty for the expression(s); and the length of time the subject of the vote remained in her/his position after the expression(s) occurred. The data show that ineffective governance relationships and especially difficulty adapting to the institution, poor interpersonal skills, and what faculty perceive as inability to lead can set the stage for expressions of no confidence.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Higher Education, College Administration, Leadership Effectiveness, Governance, Trustees, Administrative Organization, Presidents, Content Analysis, News Reporting, Electronic Publishing, Reports, Interpersonal Competence, Institutional Characteristics, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A