A study of the effects of environmental factors upon the search process for the Dean of Education

Date

1981

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Abstract

The focus of this study was on factors that influenced the search process for the dean of education in different type of institutions of higher education in the United States. A major thesis that guided this research was that diversity exists in institutions of higher education with varying organizational characteristics and that diversity is evident in major decision-making processes. The study examined the degree of faculty and administrative involvement as it related to type of institutions in various stages of the search process. Also investigated was the relationship by type of institution and the advertisement for the position of dean of education by frequency and length of time published. The datum for the study were collected during the summer of 1980 by means of aquestionnaire mailed to the chairperson of the search committee identified through advertisements for the dean of education in the Chronicle of Higher Education from January, 1976 to December, 1979. Response to the data gathering instrument was high with 63 (73 percent) of the 86 chairpersons surveyed returning the questionnaire. To encourage a high level of questionnaire response, the follow-up procedure was by telephone communication to the chairperson. Research findings and conclusions were reached through interpretation of the statistical tests and descriptive statistics. Datum collected by the questionnaire were coded, and the computer was utilized to produce the statistical results. Descriptive interpretation was prepared, and datum were presented in numerical and statistical tables from the computer -analyses. The multivariate ANOVA was utilized to determine significant differences of individuals/groups across all type of institutions. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was utilized to test for significant differences of indivi duals/groups hy type of institution. The Scheffe test was applied to the significant one-way ANOVA's to determine which institution(s) were significantly different from others. Chi-square was selected for- testing the independence of the relationship between variables. The alpha significant level was set at the .05 level(P=/<.05). Datum analyses gave rise to the following conclusions: 1. Contrary to predictions of authorities on academic governances that academic governance is experiencing a change in the internal mechanism of decision-malting with more control shifting to outsiders, this research indicates that the search committee remains a closed group with few non-university members and students. 2. The search committee process remains basically a closed system with university, tenured members retaining their high level of influence. 3. The type of institutions does effect the degree of influence of the college faculty in a major decisionmaking situation. 4. The type of institution does effect the degree of influence of the administration in a major decisionmaking situation. 5. The executive officer has more influence on the search process than any other individuals/groups identified inthe study. 6. Women faculty members do serve on major decisionmaking committees; however, their numbers are comparably less than the male members. 7. There is no correlation between the type of institution and the number of appearances and the number of weeks that the advertisement for the position of dean of education appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Keywords

College administrators, Selection and appointment

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