A Study of Presidents of Independent Colleges and UniversitiesReport as inadecuate

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Council of Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a national association representing 640 small and mid-sized independent colleges and universities, supports many professional development programs for higher education leaders. Beginning in 2008 the design of the programs has been informed by research on the career paths of campus leaders in order to help produce more and better-qualified candidates for senior leadership positions at CIC member institutions. This report is the second by CIC based on data from the American Council on Education's (ACE) American College President Study (ACPS). Using the latest ACPS data collected by a 2011 survey of more than 1,600 college and university presidents nationwide (ACE, 2012), CIC analyzed the demographic characteristics of CIC college and university presidents, their duties and responsibilities, their satisfaction and frustrations with their work, their career paths and plans, and the presidential search process and conditions of employment. To determine if important differences existed among presidents of various types of institutions, CIC compared presidents of its member institutions with presidents of four major groups: public two-year or community colleges; public baccalaureate and master's (BA/MA) level institutions; public doctoral, or research, universities; and private doctoral universities. Based on its membership in 2011, CIC identified presidents who serve CIC member colleges and universities and examined responses to questions of interest. Furthermore, CIC compared the 2011 responses of its members with those given to similar questions posed in prior ACPS surveys. A number of conclusions emerge from the findings of this study. First, CIC presidents are happy in their top leadership roles. Second, notable changes have occurred in the characteristics of CIC presidents since the last ACPS survey was conducted in 2006. Although the average age of all college and university presidents continues to climb, CIC presidents remain the youngest group among presidents of four-year colleges and universities. Third, there is reason to be concerned about a high rate of turnover in the presidencies of CIC member colleges and universities. The average tenure for a CIC president fell from 8.5 to 7.1 years over the past five years. Fourth, some noteable changes have occurred in the pathway to the presidency of CIC colleges and universities. Fifth, among the various responsibilities for which CIC presidents indicated that they were least prepared upon assuming their posts, technology planning surfaced as the greatest deficiency and was singled out at a rate higher than presidents of other types of institutions. These conclusions lead to the following recommendations: (1) Preparing future leaders to assume the presidency is critically important; (2) CIC and institutions should pay special attention to recruiting and preparing women and persons of color who aspire to the presidency; (3) Programs to prepare aspiring leaders for the presidency and to orient new presidents to their roles should include technology planning, risk management, legal issues, and enrollment management in addition to the more traditional topics of fundraising, board relations, and fiscal management; (4) More needs to be known about the reasons for the decline in the longevity of presidencies; and (5) Although the conflicting perspectives of the president and the faculty may seem unavoidable, a better understanding of these tensions may lead to new approaches that improve collaboration in the shared governance of the relatively small academic communities of CIC colleges and universities. Methods and Data are appended. (Contains 12 figures, 22 tables and 1 footnote.)

Descriptors: College Presidents, Private Colleges, Administrator Characteristics, Administrator Responsibility, Job Satisfaction, Career Development, Career Planning, Job Search Methods, Employment, Institutional Characteristics, Comparative Analysis, Public Colleges, Two Year Colleges

Council of Independent Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 320, Washington DC 20036-1142. Tel: 202-466-7230; e-mail: cic[at]cic.nche.edu; Web site: http://www.cic.edu

Author: Song, Wei; Hartley, Harold V., III

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1643&id=ED533603


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