Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of the role dimensions of the community college department chairperson
by Mutis, Marla C., Ed.D., Roosevelt University, 2008, 222; 3330707
Abstract (Summary)

This research sought to describe and explain the common strategies used by department chairs of a community college to deal with both the conflicting aspects of the role and the ambiguous definitions of the role's definition. A number of studies have examined this role as it pertains to 4-year colleges and universities; however, there has been limited research providing a serious analysis of how community college department chairs go about their work. Eleven department chairs at the same community college were selected to participate in the study. The following data collection methods were used: interviews, document analysis, field notes, and a reflective journal. The themes (and role barriers) gleaned from the data as defined by the roles were: (1) department chairs take on an administrative role that is frequently unfamiliar; (2) the career payoff is uncertain; (3) there is a limited authority scope; (4) departmental resources do need their constant oversight; (5) time management is imperative; and (6) working within the institutional politics is required. All of the themes pointed to chairperson effectiveness, and whether an individual could succeed if they were not allotted sufficient resources. The department chairs acknowledged the importance of being able to work with both administration and faculty to fulfill their responsibilities. However, there was strong agreement that a successful chair also had to function as a negotiator. While the need to get people collaborating was shared by all of the department chairs, the most important implication was that there was no training provided to them prior to accepting the job, not in the hands-on work, nor in conflict resolution. There were also other concerns that involved additional sources of role conflict that included: (1) not being considered sole faculty or administration; (2) the role's political dynamics; and (3) the time needed to accomplish the role successfully.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bennett, Albert L.
Commitee: Olson, George, Siadat, M. Vali
School: Roosevelt University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 69/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, School administration, Higher education
Keywords: Chairperson, Chairpersons, Community college, Community college chairperson, Department chair, Department chairperson, Department chairs
Publication Number: 3330707
ISBN: 978-0-549-86165-2
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