Community college governance: a survey of faculty and administrator perceptions

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

Over the past several decades higher education institutions have faced many criticisms regarding governance. Past studies have shown that as much as 70% of campus faculty and administrators believe decision making processes are ineffective and new approaches are needed. As many scholars point out, however, little empirical research exists and few studies have been conducted to advance the body of literature to better understand the perceptions held by both faculty and administrators in regards to governance, and of those, even fewer in the community college. The literature heavily suggests the way faculty and administrators form perceptions about governance is based on the organizational environment in which they function. Few in-depth studies have attempted to investigate the implications of an organization's environment, as it relates to shared governance. Most research in the area of governance focuses on internal and external forces of colleges, ways of altering structure, faculty participation in governance, student government, faculty senates, governing boards or subunits of these. It is clear that research has been conducted regarding the various afore mentioned areas, and the viewpoints of governance has been described through many lens; faculty, administrator and board of trustees to name a few. However, in areas regarding faculty and administrative perceptions and, how they interact to alter governance, few studies have been conducted. Thus, this study's purpose was to explore institutional governance in a public two-year community college, provide a more comprehensive understanding of institutional governance, and investigate the perceptions of faculty and administrators within this sector. The results provided valuable insight to the site institution regarding participants' perceptions of institutional structure, supervisory relationships, and shared governance. The findings of the study indicated that faculty and administrators significantly differ in these aspects of their organization, and that an environment of trust and cooperation in a community of equals is not the norm. Data analysis provided further evidence of a strong correlation and a significant relationship between institutional structure and shared governance, revealing that faculty and administrators perceptions of shared governance were strongly related to their perception of institutional structure.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Higher education administration