Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Harold W. Boles

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Asher

Third Advisor

Dr. James A. Davenport


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of collective bargaining and the incumbent's bargaining unit affiliation on the role of the academic department chairperson.

A questionnaire, designed to measure perceptions of the chairperson's role, was administered to a sample of 148 chairpersons from 10 mid-sized public institutions. Using the data contained in the returned questionnaires, comparisons were made between chairpersons' responses--grouped according to their inclusion in or exclusion from their faculties' collective bargaining unit affiliation on three aspects of the chairperson's role. These three aspects, and the data analysis procedures employed to evaluate them, were: (1) Expectations held for the chairperson's role (i.e., functioning as either a faculty or administration representative), evaluated by using two-way analysis of variance procedures. (2) Role functions performed by the incumbents, evaluated by using two-way analysis of variance procedures. (3) The extent of the chairperson's influence with the faculty and with the dean, evaluated by using independent t tests.

A fourth aspect of the role, pertaining to the identification of the decision-making loci on matters of department governance, was evaluated by subjectively analyzing the faculty collective bargaining contracts from the 10 universities included in the sample.

Based on the analysis of the data, the following conclusions were drawn: (1) Expectations that chairpersons hold for their role are not significantly affected by the collective bargaining process or bargaining unit affiliation. (2) The perceived importance attached to chairperson role functions is significantly affected by collective bargaining but not by affiliation. (3) The chairperson's perceived influence with the dean and the faculty is not significantly affected by affiliation. (4) Decision-making loci on matters of department governance do not appear to be affected by affiliation. (5) Regardless of affiliation, chairpersons appear to perceive themselves as faculty members and representatives rather than as administrators.

Based on the data and the conclusions of the study, it was recommended that--in order to reduce conflicts among the expectations that administrators, incumbents, and faculty hold for the chairperson's role--the role should be thoroughly and formally defined, especially when universities negotiate new or renegotiate existing faculty collective bargaining contracts.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access