Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of the dean in the public comprehensive community college
by Colvin, Diane J., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 220; 3472381
Abstract (Summary)

Deans in U.S. public community colleges hold an important, challenging, and little understood leadership position. Within an institution, the academic division dean is the administrator with the most direct influence over the academic unit. Little data can be found on the specific nature of the roles, tasks, competencies, challenges, and strategies related to the position. The lack of empirical research on the role supports a need for this study.

The purpose for conducting this study was to understand the unique role of the dean in the public community college context. A proportional stratified random sample was drawn from the 7 Carnegie Classifications of public 2-year institutions to ensure a representative nationwide sample. The survey instrument was adapted from one created by the Maricopa Community College National Community College Chair Academy and the Study of Higher Education and Post Secondary Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The results of the study indicated that the respondents perceived all 14roles as important in their position, including planner motivator, and advocate. Of the 32 tasks, 20 were considered important, including communicate unit needs to upper administration, create a positive environment, and develop long-term plans. All 12 competencies were viewed as important, including judgment, organization, and decisiveness. Of the 34 challenges, 29 were identified as important, including maintaining program quality, maintaining high quality faculty, and strengthening the curriculum. Respondents agreed that 23 of the 25 strategies were useful to some degree, including long-range institutional planning, integrating budget and planning, and conducting curriculum reviews. Finally, the results showed that there was no difference in how deans viewed the dimensions of their role across the Carnegie categories.

The results of this study may provide useful data to community college leaders and hiring committees by identifying the roles and competencies perceived as necessary to succeed in this position. In addition, the results of this study may be useful to educational leadership programs by providing information about the responsibilities of the position and the strategies current practitioners view as effective.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John P.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Educational leadership, Management
Keywords: Administrator, Community college, Deans, Division, Leadership, Role
Publication Number: 3472381
ISBN: 978-1-124-85294-2
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