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COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP STYLES AND RANKING OF FINANCIAL CHALLENGES

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Phillip Price (Creator)
Institution
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: A number of new community college presidents will need to be hired in the next five years due to the large percentage of current presidents who plan to retire within that timeframe. As current presidents leave, it is essential that these new presidents be prepared to lead community colleges through financial challenges. Leadership development programs must be designed to ensure that future presidents have the necessary leadership skills to lead these institutions through these challenges.   The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between community college presidents' leadership styles and their ranking of financial challenges. Due to findings in the literature it was hypothesized that presidents who had a leadership style that focused both on accomplishing tasks and involving staff in the accomplishment of tasks were best suited for leading community colleges during times of financial crisis. Presidents who have such a leadership style use active participation of subordinates to ensure there is a "buy-in" by everyone on the team. There is an open communication system in which all information and ideas are placed on the table. In this study, leadership style was determined through the use of a survey designed to classify a president's leadership style according to the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid. The survey also contained six financial challenges identified in the literature as pressing concerns for community colleges. Each of the challenges was classified as either being a production-related concern (i.e. the accomplishment of a task) or as a concern that was people related (i.e. intentional effort to involve staff in the accomplishment of a task). The surveys were sent to presidents of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina. Forty-one surveys were returned representing a 70.7% response rate.    The findings revealed that all the presidents' scores fell in the team management orientation of the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid. This finding is meaningful as it indicates that the majority of the currently serving community college presidents in North Carolina use leadership skills that are best suited for leading their institutions during financially difficult times. Analysis of the data revealed that the mean scores on concern for production (i.e. accomplishment of tasks) and concern for people were slightly higher for presidents from a curriculum instruction background and also for presidents whose highest degree was Higher Education/Adult Education. Each of the six financial challenges was ranked as the most challenging by at least one president and as the least challenging by at least one president. Further, the presidents did not rank challenges labeled as having a production focus higher than those labeled as having a people focus and vice versa. This is congruent with the finding that most of the presidents have a team management orientation and believe that the accomplishment of a task is equally as important as working with staff to accomplish the task. The value of many of the professional development programs for community college presidents already in place could be enhanced by adding a component that explains the benefit of using team management oriented practices.  

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Date: 2010

This item references:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP STYLES AND RANKING OF FINANCIAL CHALLENGEShttp://thescholarship.ecu.edu/bitstream/handle/10342/3184/Price_ecu_0600D_10312.pdfThe described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.