A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges Page: 21
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and Sebora (1998), in reviewing literature on executive succession, indicated that as
more literature on CEO succession was being produced, the results were mixed and the
lines of inquiry had become confused. Kesner and Sebora (1998) looked at the
selection process in corporate boardrooms and found that in order for a process to be
considered rational, the process needed to have aspiration, judgment, and justification.
Kesner and Sebora found that the order of these qualities in a selection process was
determined by three factors: (a) the current performance of the organization, (b) the
availability of qualified candidates (internal or external), and (c) the standardization
(compatibility) of the CEO's office within the organization at the time of the succession
Importance of Presidential Longevity in Higher Education
There is a general assumption that having a long lived presidency is good for an
educational institution (Padilla, 2006). Organizational stability is one virtue cited again
and again for longevity in higher education presidents. The ability of the institution to
concentrate on important things such as education and relationship building rather
funneling all its efforts into selecting a CEO - yet again - is another. Is this assumption
actually based on observation and research or whether it is more wishful and wistful
thinking? Korschgen et al. (2001) cited earlier research to buttress their findings that
innovative institutions had presidents with a longevity average of 13 years, or
approximately twice as long as the general national longevity average. By 2008,
Trachtenberg reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education that the average
presidential lifespan in office had only increased to only up to 8.5 years. Yet Korschgen
et al. found that among other benefits, long-term presidents had the time to change and
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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/m1/29/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .