Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services

First Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Sylvia Gonzalez



To date no study has been undertaken with respect to Seventh-day Adventist senior college and university presidents’ actual and expected roles as perceived by the administrative team members and governing board chairs of these institutions. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences between presidents’ actual and expected roles.


This descriptive, exploratory, survey study included a sample (n = 78) of board chairs, presidents, academic vice presidents, student service vice presidents, and finance vice presidents located in 27 senior colleges and universities operated by Seventh-day Adventists in 17 countries, including the U.S.A. Data were collected on perceived actual roles and expected roles of presidents through a survey questionnaire adapted from Oliver (1975) and Silas (1974) containing 47 items. To test the three null hypotheses the instrument utilized descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, and a pairwise two-tailed t- test. To control for Type I error since there were many multiple comparisons, a corrected significance level was set at 0.001 using the traditional Bonferroni method.


The results of this study showed that there were no statistically significant differences in perceptions among the five groups surveyed regarding actual and expected roles of presidents. Although each of the 47 expected roles was rated numerically higher than all the 47 actual roles, 31 comparisons showed significant differences. Among the topmost priorities placed on presidents’ expected roles were: Focus on SDA Christian worldview; adhere to institution’s educational philosophy; represent institution to churches; manifest Christ-like character; prepare agendas for board meetings; assist in fund-raising activities; be responsible for institution’s strategic planning; and represent institution to public.


Focusing the SDA Christian worldview was the most prominent of all actual and expected roles. The groups shared a great deal of unanimity regarding their expectations of presidents’ roles. The presidents were expected to perform much better compared to what were their actual performances in the areas of finance-related functions, fund-raising activities, and spiritual nurture programs. Recommendations for further research include an expansion of the scope comprising wider respondent groups to investigate their perceptions and to survey what could account for the wide disparities between their perceptions. It was also recommended to determine whether the low-scoring roles should be eliminated.

Subject Area

College presidents; Seventh-day Adventist universities and colleges--Administration; Universities and colleges--Administration


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