Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

James R. Bliss

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Deborah L. West

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

This paper was written to examine the fundamental areas of influence that can help to shape effective leadership for the 21st century college or university president in a rural setting. In the last few years, centuries of long held traditions, behaviors and expectations inside and outside of the university community have quickly and radically changed. The new and evolving knowledge-based economy of America has created an exceedingly competitive marketplace for higher education that has forever changed the social and financial contract between higher education and the American public. This new world features extremely complex and competitive organizations that must exist and flourish with less public funding, greater public oversight and increased private costs to consumers. An in-depth examination of the literature concerning the most effective methods by which presidents might shape their leadership to cope with this new world reveals the significant impact and influence the core skills, experiences, behaviors and values have on effective leadership in a rural setting. This paper specifically focuses on how the skills, experiences, behaviors and values identified by the presidents themselves can offer a root-cause analysis of how to effectively lead rural colleges and universities in this new era. It also reveals that while every rural college and university president is striving for leadership and institutional excellence in a highly competitive marketplace, only those who identify and manage their leadership through their skills, experiences, behaviors and values will be able to accomplish that goal.

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