Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Wilfred W. Liske

Third Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Abstract

Problem. The university board chairperson performs many tasks in his/her position. Howeve4r, it appears that there is a lack of consensus on the chairperson's role. Therefore, this study was concerned with the role expectations of the board chairperson of the university as perceived by the board chairperson, university presidents, vice-presidents for academic affairs, vice-presidents for financial affiars, and other university board members. Is there any correlation between what the board chairperson actually does and what he/she should do as perceived by the five groups? It was expected that a clarification of the role expectations would provide useful guidelines for improving the environment and functioning of the organization. The purpose was to compare the perceptions of the board chair-person's role with respect to what he/she should do and what he/she does.

Method. One hundred and twenty-six subjects comprising five status groups participated in the study. An instrument developed especially for this study, containing eighteen items describing the roles of the board chairperson of the board of trustees of the university, with respect to expected and actual practice, was used. Four statistical tests were utilized: Thurstone's Categorical Scaling Technique, the Extended Median Test, the Product-moment Correlation (Pearson's r), and Kendall's W. Thurstone's Categorical Scaling Technique permitted an examination of the correlation between the scale values assigned to the expected and actual roles of the board chairperson as perceived by five status groups. The Extended Median Test gave a separate description of the median ratings given to the eighteen items and their differences with respect to the expected and actual roles of the board chairperson as perceived by five status groups. Person's r and Kendall's W was used as a means of additional support with respect to the correlation between the scale values assigned to the expected and actual roles on the part of the five groups of respondents.

Findings. Results showed that there were significant differences among the median ratings given by each of the five status groups to each specific role in terms of expectation and actual practice. There was a significant correlation of .471 between the scale values assigned to the expected roles by the university presidents and the vice-presidents for academic affairs. Also with respect to actual practice there was a significant correlation of .573 between the scale values given by the board chair-persons and the vice-president for financial affairs. A significant correlation of .591 was found between the scale values assigned to the expected and actual roles by the vice-presidents for financial affairs. Considering the overall groups of respondents, there was a significant correlation of .859 between the scale values given to the expected and actual roles.

Conclusions. From an analysis of the data, the following conclusions were reached with regard to the expected roles of the university board chairperson as perceived by five status groups:

There is a high degree of consensus on the following roles:

The board chairperson

1. Presides at all meetings of the board and sets the general tone for each meeting

2. Participates appropriately with the members of the board and mediates instead of domineering

3. Expedites decision-making and voting of the board after due due deliberation

4. Appoints board committees in accordance with the by-laws and calls for performance reports on a timely basis

5. Advises and consults with the university president on major problems

6. Establishes and maintains on behalf of the board good public relations with the press, governmental units, and the public

7. Provides leadership and recommends appropriate in-service training for the trustees

8. Serves as a catalyst in initiating evaluation of top executive performance on a regular basis

9. Leads compensation discussion of the board on behalf of the President

There is a lack of consensus on the following roles - The university board chairperson

1. Stimulates the board and extracts opinions from each individual where appropriate

2. Consults with the university president on the trustees' meeting agenda

3. Initiates the evaluation of the performance of the board as a whole on a regular basis

4. Insures that the board has adequate advance information and sufficient lead time for deliberation

5. Receives recommendations from the administration and faculty

Subject Area

College trustees, Universities and colleges--Michigan--Administration.

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