Department of Educational Administration


First Advisor

Dr. Deryl K. Hatch-Tocaimaza

Date of this Version

Spring 3-16-2020

Document Type



Young, M. G. (2020). Speaker of the house: The intersection of faculty and administrator roles among community college faculty department chairs (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership & Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Deryl K. Hatch-Tocaimaza. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2020

Copyright 2020 Miles G. Young


Community colleges face significant challenges in the 21st century due largely to the effects of neoliberalism. Shifts in governance structures and an emphasis towards productivity and accountability have put a strain on institutional relationships, particularly between the faculty and the administration. Much attention has been given to how this relationship could be restored through direct means; however, another institutional stakeholder group has largely been overlooked in terms of a resource that could help bridge the faculty and administration. The community college faculty department chair is uniquely situated between the faculty and administration within these institutions, yet little is known about how they navigate their role in support of a more cohesive organizational culture and healthier relationships. Five community college faculty department chairs at a small, rural community college in Northeast Texas were the focus of this multiple case study in order to better understand how they engaged in the role navigation process, balanced and acted upon role expectations sent to them, and leveraged connections between the faculty and the administration. The findings of this study demonstrated that the participants relied heavily on their identity as faculty, primarily, but also as administrator in serving as a conduit between the faculty and administration. More specifically, the participants leveraged the management and mediation of communication, reduced ambiguity, and mitigated tension in building connections between the faculty and administration. Implications for practice and scholarship, as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Adviser: Dr. Deryl K. Hatch-Tocaimaza