Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of a university in the development and support of its leaders
by Lenz, Christopher M., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 195; 3497550
Abstract (Summary)

Universities in America today are complex, multi-faceted organizations sharing the same kinds of logistical, administrative, financial, personnel, political and legal issues as many businesses. Additionally, they face numerous challenges, such as legislative questions about rising costs and quality, demands from business for better prepared graduates, and changing demographics of students. As organizational success has been linked to the effectiveness and quality of leadership, it is important that universities have effective leadership to successfully manage their institution and meet the challenges.

Research on university leadership has shown that the vast majority of leaders had little to no preparation for their roles and little support after assuming them, which exacts a cost in terms of professional effectiveness as well as personal stress. This state of affairs has been linked to cultural values within university settings. What has not been previously studied though is what role the university takes in the development and support of its leaders.

The purpose of this research project was to conduct a case study of a large, urban, public university that is fairly typical of its type, to examine what role it takes in the development and support of its leaders, how that relates to the culture of the university, and how incumbent leaders themselves perceive the university's role. All of the divisions of the university were examined, through analysis of documents, archival data, and artifacts, to develop a portrait of the university's role and the culture related to that role. A survey of all of the leaders on campus was conducted for confirmatory evidence about the culture, and to ascertain their perceptions about the university's role in developing and supporting its leaders.

The results show that while the university does acknowledge its role in the development and support of leaders, what is actually provided to those ends is very limited, and is inconsistent across divisions. The campus culture supports this disposition, but there is apparently some pressure for change, as incumbent leaders strongly feel that development and support of leaders by the university is very important.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John P.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Leadership development, University culture, Urban education
Publication Number: 3497550
ISBN: 9781267183101
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