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Orientation experiences of Texas community college presidents

Bradley W Johnson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Using a multiple case study approach, the practices of six relatively new Texas community college presidents were studied to determine how they approached their succession processes. The intent was to identify actions and strategies so others could follow in their footsteps and presumably experience similar successes. Additionally, at each institution interviews were conducted with three or more colleagues, working directly above or below the new president. ^ The findings supported some, but not all, of previously reported observations on how newly-appointed community college presidents approached their responsibilities. Also there were some notable divergences from earlier publications. The most important behaviors reported were: copious reading of current and earlier reports; carefully listening to all interested parties without becoming judgmental, attending and participating in transition meetings and organizational planning activities, and not becoming a micromanager. ^ Unanticipated was learning governing board members and senior administrators often had little understanding of the orientation process. They relied extensively upon guidance from a new president. Some were reluctant to venture forth ideas while others were not knowledgeable about the process of presidential succession. ^ The data analysis allowed for conceptualizing a 3 x 3 matrix to aid in understanding the phenomenon of community college presidential orientation. The matrix revealed how the three phases of orientation (Pre Appointment, Pre Arrival, and Post Arrival) juxtaposed with the Tasks, Methods and Critical Factors reportedly associated with a successful presidential orientation. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Bradley W, "Orientation experiences of Texas community college presidents" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3147143.