Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations


The Demographics and Utilization of Transformational Leadership Practices by Potential Community College Presidents

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Kenneth Borland (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Maureen Wilson (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Tim Brackenbury (Other)


Community colleges are facing a leadership crisis due to the mass retirements and turnover of community college presidents. Senior academic affairs officers, senior student affairs officers, senior academic and student affairs officers, and senior finance and administrative officers are considered potential community college presidents to fill the position as they are often one administrative position away from the president. Community college scholars and organizations recommended the utilization of transformational leadership by individuals in the community college presidency position.

The purpose of this correlational descriptive study was to understand who are potential community college presidents, to what degree they utilized transformational leadership practices, and to determine whether potential community college presidents’ utilization of transformational leadership practices differed based upon personal and professional experiences. Potential community college presidents (N=656) completed a demographic questionnaire and the Leadership Practices Inventory-SELF (Kouzes & Posner, 2013) to understand their educational, personal, and professional backgrounds; and their utilization of transformational leadership practices.

Potential community college presidents’ demographics and their utilization of transformational leadership practices are reported. Descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance tests, and independent sample t tests were employed are presented to answer the research questions. There were statistically significant differences in the mean scores on the LPI-SELF based upon level of interest in a community college presidency, institutional location, current position, highest degree earned, and participation in leadership development programs. Conclusions and recommendations include continued exploration of potential community college presidents’ preparation and utilization of transformational leadership practices.