A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges Page: 26
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some previous relationship with the institution, as well as collaborative team building
once in place, was important.
Literature and Research on National Searches with Professional Search Firms
Renick (2002) in Black Issues in Higher Education asserted that regardless of the
type of search conducted, the less attention paid to providing structured transition then
the less the chances of producing a successful new presidency. Dowdal (2006) in
"When Colleges Should, and Should Not, Use Executive Search" likened using an
executive search firm to buying an insurance policy. Executive search firms can be
expensive but hiring the wrong executive can also have serious and expensive
repercussions. Dowdal contended that using a search firm can signal quality and
cultivate prominent candidates who have been linked with the institution in the past as
well as candidates who have not been actively searching for new positions.
Unfortunately, outside executive search committees can discourage internal candidates
(Dowdal, 2006). The professional search firm can also help in deciding the composition
and selection of search committees and the timetable for selection. These firms are
useful in delineating the charge, spouses' roles, and candidates' expectations as well as
insuring a diverse candidate pool and participating in preliminary screening.
National Searches Without Search Firms
A rare form of national search involves national, and sometimes extensive,
searches without the assistance of professional search firms. This search type is
primarily found in large institutions or systems with extensive human resource
departments. The Dallas County Community College District in Texas represents a
large institution with an extensive human resource department and is currently
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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/m1/34/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .