A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges Page: 29
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using committees for internal searches, the Board of Trustees and other leaders must
be committed to actually using the search committee's recommendations or risk
appearing arbitrary and deceitful.
Literature Concerning No Formal Search Process
Sometimes the Board of Trustees or other governmental or quasi-governmental
entities install presidents, chancellors, or other CEOs without using formal processes.
Jacobson (2002) reported on the University of Auburn's Board of Trustees simply
elevating William F. Walker from "interim president" to permanent president with a
guaranteed tenure of at least 3 years without any faculty participation at all during the
decision process. Auburn's faculty retaliated with a formal censure and claimed that the
move by the Board was contrary to the philosophy of shared governance that has
become so widely on expected on American campuses.
Other Important Issues in Presidential Searches
The issue of secrecy in presidential searches was addressed by Arnone (2004)
who found that even with so called "sunshine laws" in place to require open public
meetings and records, colleges often are able to evade those laws. As of 2004, 22
states had exempted public colleges and other institutions from their own sunshine
laws. The effect, argued Arnone, is to allow public colleges and universities to follow
their natural inclination toward secrecy, which is often born out of a belief that scrutiny
will scare off the best potential candidates. Arnone seemed to find this likelihood to be
especially true for female and minority presidential candidates.
While the literature discussed in this chapter gives differing findings on whether
presidential longevity is growing or getting shorter, most literature points toward
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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/m1/37/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .