A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges Page: 12
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more longevity than others served as a proxy for knowing which processes produced
the most appropriate leaders. Being able to better select the hiring process in turn
might save time and money for the institution as well as prevent disruption and
dissatisfaction on the part of both the college and the executive.
Delimitations of the Study
A major limitation of the study could have been that only current presidents would
be surveyed making the longevity component of the study dependent on when they
were hired. Having no end date for employment would make determining the true
relationship between the method of hiring and the longevity of the presidential position
difficult. A president might have less than one year in their current position but
eventually could remain in that position for many years. On the other hand, another
president with less than a year's tenure could last only another year or two. To address
this issue several approaches were combined to ascertain a complete picture:
1. The survey had questions about both current and immediately previous positions.
Questions about previous positions mirrored questions regarding current
positions in order to have comparable information. One exception to this was
that Question 7 asked for the month and year of the starting date of their current
position while Question 14 asked for the number of years the respondents were
in their immediately previous positions. Not all current presidents were expected
to have held previous positions as presidents but enough were expected to have
responded to create a smaller subgroup for comparison.
2. Since there was no end date for the presidents' current positions, the length of
their time in their positions was measured by calculating the number of years in
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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/m1/20/: accessed February 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .