Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Second Advisor

Connie Lightfoot

Third Advisor

Scott Gaier

Abstract

The number of women entering all levels of higher education is continuing to grow. However, there is a disparity between this fact and the number of women serving in senior leadership positions within higher education. This gap is even more evident within member institutions of the Christian Council of Colleges and Universities (CCCU). This study examined the experience of seven female CCCU administrators during their transitional period from faculty member to administrator. Five of the seven women transitioned into their current administrative position within the last five years, highlighting a rapid movement into leadership. This study also found that only one of the seven participants followed the traditional leadership pipeline within the academy: faculty member, department chair, dean, associate provost, provost, and president. Several of the women were the first female in their position, which presented both personal and institutional difficulties such as learning on the job, balancing home / work responsibilities and the pressure to prove oneself able of doing their job well. However, a commitment to the mission of Christian higher education, the multiple layers of leadership support, the acquisition of terminal degrees, and a deep sense of calling provided the foundations needed to persevere and succeed during their transition from faculty member to administrator.

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