A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges

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A great deal of time, money, and effort can be expended on hiring community college presidents without any assurance that they will remain in their new positions a substantial amount of time. Building on decades of literature reporting the continuing decrease of presidential longevity, this study examined the methods most successful in selecting presidents with relatively greater longevity and what relationship exists between the type of presidential search used and the length of tenure. An original 18-question survey was e-mailed to 904 community college and two-year institution presidents to capture information about both current and previous presidencies. Participants returned 224 ... continued below

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Howells, Constance L. December 2011.

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  • Howells, Constance L.

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A great deal of time, money, and effort can be expended on hiring community college presidents without any assurance that they will remain in their new positions a substantial amount of time. Building on decades of literature reporting the continuing decrease of presidential longevity, this study examined the methods most successful in selecting presidents with relatively greater longevity and what relationship exists between the type of presidential search used and the length of tenure. An original 18-question survey was e-mailed to 904 community college and two-year institution presidents to capture information about both current and previous presidencies. Participants returned 224 valid responses for a response rate of 24.8%. Results of a generalized linear model (GLM) yielded a statistically significant result showing a positive relationship between the variable Q7STDT1(type of presidential searches in current position) and length of tenure of selected candidates (F = 3.41, p = .006).No significant relationship was found between the selection process used in the immediately previous presidential positions and selected candidates’ longevity in those positions. Information from this study can be used to decide what types of selection process should be used and to indicate further topics of inquiry in this area.

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  • December 2011

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  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:18 p.m.

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  • Dec. 4, 2013, 11:27 a.m.

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Howells, Constance L. A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103329/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .