Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The perceived relevance of professional leadership competencies among mid-level managers in student affairs at four-year institutions of higher education
by Fleischer, Stephen, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 189; 3530673
Abstract (Summary)

Higher education in the United States is facing significant challenges that necessitate effective leadership at all levels and in all corners of the university, including mid-level managers in student affairs. In July 2010, the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) adopted a set of competencies to guide student affairs professionals. This study looked at the relevance of the leadership competencies from the mid-level managers' perspective. Understanding student affairs leadership at the mid-level is pivotal to succeed in the current climate and to strategize for the future.

Mid-level managers at 4-year institutions were surveyed for this study. A total of 294 respondents completed the Professional Leadership Competency Questionnaire (PLCQ). The PLCQ was developed by the researcher, and was based on ACPA and NASPA's 42 sets of knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) ofthe leadership competency.

The five highest ranked sets of KSAs for the respondents' current positions were understanding campus cultures, fostering contributions to the organization, assess strengths and weaknesses, recognizing interdependence, and be a mentor. The five KSAs with the highest relevancy for their next positions were fostering contributions to the organization, understanding campus cultures, solutions with no precedent, include diverse others, and incorporate diverse stakeholders. Additionally, mid-level managers perceived an increase in relevance of 40 ofthe 42 KSAs for their anticipated next positions. Further findings included higher relevancy of all three levels of complexity among those who anticipated moving into a senior student affairs officer position.

This study fills a gap in the literature regarding mid-level managers' perceptions ofthe ACPA and NASPA leadership competencies. Mid-level mangers perceived the majority of leadership competencies as relevant in their current positions. The breadth of leadership competencies already relevant to mid-level managers suggests they may be deployed in additional ways to address the dilemmas currently facing student affairs. The perception of increased relevancy of the leadership competencies for the respondents' anticipated next positions suggests they are preparing to ascend as competent leaders of student affairs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Leadership, Midlevel management, Professional competencies, Student affairs
Publication Number: 3530673
ISBN: 978-1-267-70357-6
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