Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


James O. Hammons

Committee Member

Michael S. Hevel

Second Committee Member

Barbara A. Lofton


Chairperson, Chairs, Community College, Factors, Workload


As the complexities of the departmental chair continued to increase, so did the importance of having a process to use to fairly assign the teaching load for departmental chairs. In 1982 Carolyn Branch conducted a survey to identify the factors that were being used. She received input from the chief academic officers that a process, procedure or formula was needed (Branch, 1982). The factors identified in Branch’s research did not lead to the development of a process for chief academic officers to use.

There has been no published research on this topic since Branch’s research in 1982. Therefore, I decided to undertake this study with the purpose of determining what factors were being used to determine the teaching load and if weights were assigned to the factors. The target population for this research was the 982 public community colleges listed on the web-site of the American Association of Community Colleges. From this list, a stratified random sample was drawn resulting in a sample population of 375 public community colleges. A survey was sent out to the sample population via electronic e-mail. Completed surveys were submitted via the Qualtrics software. The survey results were downloaded from Qualtrics into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) analytical software to analyze, synthesize, and run descriptive statistical data on the results.

The results indicated that eight of the ten factors identified by Branch in 1982 were still in use. Additional factors were reported via written text by the sample population. Just like in 1982, the chief academic officers are no closer to developing a formula to use for guidance. However, by a considerable percentage, three factors were identified and being used by a large majority of the respondents in the survey. Additionally, there were three reasons reported as being the top three reasons for making changes to the factors used to determine the teaching load. Based on the information provided, a recommendation for improved practice and several recommendations for future research are presented.