Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. L. Michael Moskovis

Second Advisor

Dr. UIdis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Anne Bunda


The professional development of academic chairpersons has been neglected both by higher education institutions and as a field of study. This study focused on assessing both the perceptions of chairpersons toward administrative and faculty development and their degree of participation in development activities and roles.

A survey instrument was designed to make this assessment and was mailed to 311 chairpersons at eight midwestern public universities classified as Doctorate-Granting Universities I. The response rate was 75%, with 234 questionnaires returned .

The results of the survey showed that although chairpersons view both administrative development and faculty development as important, faculty development is judged as higher in importance. Chairpersons' participation in administrative development was less than moderately active, and only one of six types of development activities (in-house seminars) was participated in by as much as 50% of the sample. Job demands and inaccessibility of programs were reported as important factors in preventing more active participation. Increased administrative skills, knowledge, and competence were judged to be important possible benefits of participating in administrative development.

Chairpersons reported spending 10% to 15% of their time performing various faculty development roles. Assisting faculty in obtaining resources was performed most frequently, more than one or two times a month. Other roles performed more than three or four times a year were helping new faculty get started and improving faculty research and teaching. Job demands were rated as the only important factor in preventing more frequent performance of faculty development roles.

Chairpersons' career plans and goals influenced their history of participation in administrative development activities. Those individuals with ambitions for higher administrative office showed a more active level of participation than those without such plans and goals. A moderately strong relationship was shown between chairpersons' perceptions of the value of administrative and faculty development, and their level of participation in such development.

Institutions seeking to promote development among their administrators need to encourage such activities more vigorously, present such activities locally, and provide clear incentives for participation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access