Community college leaders today face many existing and emerging leadership challenges. Of particular concern for the current and next generation of community college leaders are the institutional budget and the impending changes in the traditional model of higher education funding. The purpose of this study is to explore the congruence between the traditional academic preparation, work experience, and leadership characteristics of community college presidents and the contemporary president’s role in and ability to secure alternative sources of funding for their institutions. The research in this study adds to the understanding of the leadership characteristics, competencies, work experiences, and academic preparation that contribute to community college presidents’ success in securing alternative revenue. The research question for this study was: What are the educational, work-related experiences, and leadership characteristics and competencies of WTC Presidents that contribute to success in seeking alternative sources of revenue for their institutions? The research for this bound cases study was qualitative in nature and relied on data collected primarily through interviews with college presidents in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and document review. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine college presidents who had served for more than one year in the role. This study includes within-case and cross-case analysis. Data was coded and organized according to recurring themes. Within-case themes related to leadership competencies include: internal focus, relationship building, community involvement, telling the college story (advocacy), active fundraising, resource allocation, and entrepreneurial focus. Within-case themes examined similarities in themes that emerged from other case studies of two-year college presidents with respect to alternative revenue generation. The key findings and conclusions for this case study are presented in three sections: community college leadership, preparation for the community college presidency, and the advancement role of the community college president. Findings suggest that there is incongruence between preparation for the presidency and expectations for the advancement role of the presidency. WTCS president agree that fundraising is a necessary skill, yet most presidents continue to state that they felt ill-prepared to fundraise for their colleges when they assumed the presidency. More direct efforts to prepare presidents are necessary. Successful alternative revenue generation is a function of successful interaction of the college president and the college in the ecosystem in which the college operates. Leadership competencies and characteristics of WTCS presidents described as within-case themes in this study align with the American Association of Community College leadership competencies (AACC, 2013). This study suggests that successful alternative revenue generation is a function of successful interaction of the college president and the college in the ecosystem in which the college operates.
University of Minnesota D.Ed. dissertation. December 2016. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisors: David Weerts, Andrew Furco. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 116 pages.
Two-Year College Presidents’ Perceptions of Leader Attributes that Contribute to Successfully Securing Alternative Revenue.
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