Credible leadership: exploring differences in perception of the credibility of the senior student affairs officer among CIC college presidents and their senior leadership teams

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Wendy A. Powers (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Deborah Taub

Abstract: Modern higher education institutions face tremendous challenges, including dwindling financial resources, waning public support, demands for greater accountability, and daunting student needs and expectations. Campus presidents simply cannot face these challenges as isolated or solitary leaders. High functioning, inclusive, collaborative, and synergistic senior leadership teams are needed to not only ensure day-to-day campus operations, but also to respond, strategize and make the necessary changes for long term institutional success and viability. Two consistent themes emerge across many leadership theories--team leadership is quite valuable and credible leadership is crucial. This research project employed a source credibility lens (competence, goodwill/caring, and trustworthiness) through which to gather college and university presidents' and their cabinet members' perceptions of senior student affairs officer (SSAO) credibility as well as senior administrator credibility in general. The study revealed that CIC cabinet members, with the exception of campus presidents, perceive their SSAOs' credibility quite similarly--the presidents rated their SSAOs' credibility significantly higher. In addition, trustworthiness was unanimously perceived to be the SSAOs' strongest of the three credibility dimensions, and the dimensions of general senior administrator credibility were prioritized trustworthiness (first), competence (second) and goodwill/caring (third). Understanding differences in perceptions of credibility among senior leaders will assist SSAO's in developing stronger partnerships with colleagues, thus improving their administrative effectiveness, and will assist presidents striving to build stronger leadership teams.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Credibility, Perceived credibility, President's cabinet, Senior leadership team, Senior student affairs officer
Student affairs administrators $z United States
Universities and colleges $z United States $x Administration
Educational leadership $z United States

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