ERIC Number: EJ1202976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Presidential Spouse Role: How a Thoughtful Policy Can Guide the Way
Apple, Peggy L.; Whitney, Karen M.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v51 n1 p58-61 2019
When you become a a college president or chancellor, whether you like it or not, everyone close to you is part of your presidency. There are increasing numbers of presidents who are women, single, single and dating, single with children of various ages, divorced, cohabitating, parents of young/school-aged children, with no children, multiracial, multi-generational and, as represented by the authors of this article, LGBTQ. Because of this diversity and complexity, there can be a multitude of opportunities and challenges associated with family and the presidency. This complexity is heightened because there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to the spousal role and, therefore, it must be purposefully and individually constructed by the president, spouse, and key university constituencies. Presidential/chancellor spouse policies help to define the role of the spouse and lend guidance during the recruitment and selection process and throughout a presidency. University trustees/board members, search committee members, search professionals, presidents, presidential candidates and their families, as well as internal and external stakeholders who relate to presidential spouses/families can benefit from a thoughtful, explicit spouse policy. It is reasonable to conclude that uncertainties regarding the presidential spousal role and responsibilities could potentially create tension, ambiguity, uncertainty and conflict, which could create roadblocks, if not actual challenges, for the president and the spouse. The authors suggest that it is important to establish institutional policies and procedures designed to clarify the role of presidential spouses for the president, spouse, and institutional stakeholders. Candidates and their spouses can then determine whether the spousal policy fits their interests as they relate to the unique needs of an institution.
Descriptors: College Presidents, Spouses, Family Work Relationship, Role, School Policy, Recruitment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A