An Inquiry Into the Professional Activities of the Iowa Community College President
Hellyer, Lyle A.
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The role of the Community College President can be identified from his activities. The manner in which these roles and responsibilities are handled vary with the setting and the individual performing the activity. This study was made to explore the activities that comprise the role of the Iowa Community College President. The problem. The problems investigated in this study were: 1) How much time does the president spend in performance of certain activities during the school year? 2) How much time do the presidents feel should be spent in each of these activities? 3) What activities do presidents feel are most important to their roles? 4) How do presidents perceive their role in each of the activities? Procedure. A questionnaire identifying sixteen activities of the president was designed and administered to fourteen community college presidents in Iowa. This questionnaire asked for percent of time spent in each activity, percent of time that would be desirable to spend in each activity, the rank in order of importance of each activity, and personal data on training and experience. A taped interview with each of the presidents to discuss perceptions and performance of each of the sixteen activities identified in the study was made. Findings. Findings included: 1) A majority of the presidents had community college experience prior to assuming the presidency, but had prior administrative experience in the public school system. 2) Board-President relationship is a most important task and occupies a considerable amount of the presidents' time. 3) The presidents are highly involved in community affairs. 4) The presidents recognize the importance of institutional planning and are aware that they are not spending a desirable amoumt of time in this activity. 5) There is a moderate positive relationship between time spent and time desirable, indicating that there is a tendency to spend more time on functions where more time is desirable for their performance. 6) There is a moderate positive relationship between the perceived importance of various roles and the time desired for performance. 7) Activities that are viewed as more important are usually performed primarily by the president and activities that are ranked of lesser importance are shared or delegated. Conclusions. Conclusions were: 1) Although there are many similarities in the actual and the perceived role of the presidents of the Iowa area community colleges, there are also significant differences. The similarities can be viewed as the result of the initial state structure and the differences can be viewed as a result of individual differences in the persons and the settings. 2) The roles as determined by the presidents as being more important are not necessarily the roles that occupy the larger amounts of the presidents' time. 3) The most important presidential role, as perceived by the president, is the development and maintenance of a good president-board relationship. Recommendations for Further Study. l) Several of the individual roles included in this study encompass areas of such breadth that an investigation of a singular role would be quite significant. 2) If a more broad role-function research would be desired, desired, an approach similar to the delphi technique would appear to be desirable. 3) The personal and professional characteristics of the occupants of the presidential chair in given area, or of the total United States, would provide important data. 4) A study using roles similar to those used in this investigation, but encompassing a larger geographic area, would be quite useful in determining to what extent the individual and the setting contribute to the overall presidential role function. 5) A study encompassing the managerial skills, with explicit attention to leadership and decision-making, has never been done relative to the community college presidency, to the knowledge of the investigator. Within such a topic area, innumerable opportunities exist for research involving these managerial skills in a broad sense, or with segments of these characteristics involving very specific application.
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