Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dennis M. Anderson

Second Advisor

Steven Banks

Third Advisor

Mary Harris-John

Fourth Advisor

Fred Pauley


This study examined desired characteristics presidents of colleges and universities exhibit through the perspective of the governing board chairperson. Three overarching characteristics investigated in this study were leadership ability, the ability to articulate a defined mission, and the ability to work with others. Comparisons were made between characteristic-determining questions to institution type and institution size. Participants were selected from a random sample of regional public colleges and universities and public community colleges that held membership in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the American Association of Community Colleges, respectively. Through the use of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5x), governing board chairpersons rated qualities they deem important for their campus leader. Data were examined through an analysis of variance (ANOVA) on individual questions and question groupings, and a comparative analysis was made of characteristic-based question groupings by institution type and size. Results showed that public community colleges and public four-year institutions value the same qualities, and that smaller schools were more likely to place a high value on leaders who display a strong sense of purpose, ethical leadership, voiced values and beliefs, and the ability to lead collectively toward a common goal. There was a strong correlation among the three characteristic groupings when compared with the other, non-grouped survey questions, showing that board chairs who value leadership skills are also looking for presidents who can clearly articulate a mission for the institution and who can work well with others.


Universities and colleges - Administration.