Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Walter S. Polka

Committee Member 1

Cordelia D. Zinskie

Committee Member 2

Patricia Coberly

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the leadership practices of extended campus directors in the context of the administration of distance learning programs. The leadership practices of the 30 extended campus directors working for Columbia College of Missouri, at various locations around the country were measured using the Leadership Practices Inventory - Self (LPI - Self). This survey instrument was distributed using a secure email account established for the purposes of this study. The researcher analyzed the quantitative data collected from the study using the one-sample z-test to complete a comparison of the leadership practices of the directors and the baseline data associated with the survey instrument. There were statistically significant differences at the .01 level (p < .01) noted for all leadership practices measured by the LPI-Self. There were also differences in the frequency of use between the self-reported leadership practices of the directors and the established norms for the LPI-Self. Qualitative data for this study was obtained from a series of face-to-face interviews with selected participants. The interview transcripts were analyzed for 2 common themes. Three common themes, societal change concerning access to higher education, new challenges, and staff and faculty support, were identified relative to the campus directors and their immediate supervisors perceived utilization of best leadership practices. These themes were directly related to the most frequently used leadership practices, enabling others to act, encouraging the heart, and modeling the way reported by the campus directors during the quantitative phase of this research study. The researcher determined that there were no differences related to the perspectives of the campus directors and their immediate supervisors associated with the utilization of best leadership practices measured by the LPI-Self. The findings also indicated that organizational expectations relative to the utilization of best leadership practices in the administration of distance learning programs at the extended campus locations included the common themes of revenue with quality, and seamless integration of distance learning courses with the traditional curriculum. These common themes were associated with the self-reported leadership practices of challenging the process and inspiring a shared vision.

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