Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Noland Browning

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Leary

Third Advisor

Dr. Phillip Prey

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Edwin Smith

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Powell Toth


The preparation of individuals that assume the role of department chair is a critical challenge facing administrators of institutions of higher education (Gmelch & Houchen; 1994). Department chairs assume the position without leadership training, without administrative experience, without clear understanding of the role, and without an awareness of the personal cost of the position (Gmelch & Houchen; 1994). Much of the literature pertaining to the department chair is derived from speeches, journal articles and how-to books and is anecdotal in nature (Creswell, Wheeler, Seagren, Egly, & Beyer, 1990; Gmelch, Burns, Carroll, Harris & Wentz; 1992; Gmelch, Carroll, Seedorf & Wentz, 1990; Seagren & Miller, 1994). This body of anecdotal literature indicates that both the method of selection and length of service of the department chair may affect the degree of faculty support of the chair. This study empirically examined the relationship between the method of selection and length of service of department chairs with the degree of faculty support. Department chair was defined as the person formally appointed to manage the academic department (Stewart, 1993). Faculty support was defined as the composite mean score on the Departmental Evaluation of Chairperson Activities for Development-Faculty Reactions to Chairpersons' Activities (Decad) instrument for both initiation of structure and considerations.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


College department heads.

College department heads – Selection and appointment.

College department heads – Rating of.

Universities and colleges – Faculty.