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Situations with ethical dimensions as described and addressed by California community college presidents

Kathryn L Mueller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify situations with ethical dimensions that California community college presidents encounter and to illustrate how those presidents address such situations. Two research questions guided this study: (a) What situations with ethical dimensions do community college presidents face? and (b) How do community college presidents address such situations? ^ A survey was developed to ascertain the answers to these research questions, and all 109 California community college presidents were invited to participate in the study. 17.4% (19 out of 109) of the presidents completed and returned the survey; one president completed the survey via a face-to-face interview. Follow-up interviews were conducted with six of the eight participants who indicated a willingness to be interviewed on the survey. Interview questions were developed specific to the situations shared by each respective participant. ^ The groups and/or individuals most frequently involved with the situations with ethical dimensions were employees, boards and board members, and students. The primary factors in the situations with ethical dimensions were boards, board members, and employees. Board members' behavior, including micromanagement and requesting preferential treatment for self or others, were the highest number of factors in these situations. ^ The majority of situations with ethical dimensions were addressed by presidents by directly addressing the situation or issue, by stepping back to view the whole picture, and seeking balance and win-win solutions. Based on the findings of this survey, guidelines for ethical decision-making in educational leadership were identified. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Mueller, Kathryn L, "Situations with ethical dimensions as described and addressed by California community college presidents" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3297033.