A Quantitative Study of the Presidential Search Process and Position Longevity in Community Colleges Page: 52
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presidencies (10.4 years) but national searches using internal resources (8.1 years) and
internal searches using search committees (7.5 years) had the highest mean years for
immediately previous presidencies. The fact that national search firms using a
professional search firm was the most often process used for current presidential
searches (36.07% of the time) shows that the most often used process and the
processes producing the highest longevity are not the same.
While the respondents' previous presidential positions did not show any
significant difference in selection processes, it is possible that bias in the sampling did
occur. Previous presidents with greater longevity may have retired, and making only
medium and short term former positions available to be added to the survey sampling.
The cohort of current presidential respondents appears biased in that 64 of the
presidents replying that they had served in previous presidencies could have served for
many years in a previous presidency and only recently (i.e., within less than 1 year)
moved to their current positions.
Shortcomings of the Study
Since the survey was voluntary, it was subject to participant self selection bias.
The circumstances, demographics, and even personalities might differ significantly
between those presidents willing to participate and those who were not. Many of the
respondents reported less than 1 year of service in their current presidencies. The
majority of the respondents were non-Hispanic White males. While this study attempted
to show a close approximation to the demographics of the population of community
college presidents' demographics, gaps were found between the sample and the
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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/m1/60/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .