Date of Award

Spring 3-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Abstract

An imminent wave of community college president retirements is well-documented in the literature, which will likely contribute to a serious leadership void on American community college campuses (American Association of Community Colleges [AACC], 2013; Eddy, 2013). To address this impending leadership crisis, governing boards must focus on how to develop leaders prepared to meet the unique and increasingly complex challenges of community colleges. In keeping with Katz’s (1955) three-skill conceptual framework, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe trustees’ and presidents’ perceptions about the importance of technical, human, and conceptual competencies to a successful 21st-century community college presidency. In addition to data collected from in-depth, semi-structured interviews, participants ranked a list of 16 common duties of the community college president that occupy the majority of the president’s time. Based on interviews with 15 trustees and eight presidents serving at Missouri community colleges, themes were identified specific to technical, human, and conceptual competencies. Trustees and presidents similarly ranked two common presidential duties: enrollment management and state and federal relations. However, noteworthy differences in trustees’ and presidents’ perceptions were found with six common duties: budget and finance matters, faculty and academic issues, fundraising and alumni relations, governing board relations, personnel and human resources, and strategic planning. Implications for practice were discussed specific to the trustee-president relationship, community college president competencies, institutional fit, succession planning, and the impact of underprepared trustees on the 21st-century president’s success and the institution’s effectiveness.

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