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

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Kit Kacirek


Social sciences, Education, Achieving the dream leader colleges, Community college presidents, Community colleges, Leadership roles, Management activities


A significant increase in community colleges' (CC) presidential retirements is resulting in a huge loss of critical knowledge and experience. Recognition of this has led to numerous efforts and initiatives to prepare future community college leaders. These efforts have included numerous attempts to identify the competencies, skills, and leadership traits considered essential to performing the president's job. Unfortunately, most of the topics identified in self-reported assessments and personal interviews were not based on actual observations of what successful presidents do.

Unlike studies about community college presidents over the last 30 years, this study utilized Henry Mintzberg's (1968) structured observation methodology and managerial Role Taxonomy to record in real time the daily activities of five effective Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges (ATD) presidents. This quantitative study had two purposes, first to identify and describe the managerial activities and leadership roles of effective CC presidents, and second, to replicate, and expand on Curtis Ivery's 1982 study of five CC presidents. The purposive sample of five presidents was drawn from a target population of 65 presidents of the Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges. The presidents' activities were recorded in an iPad instrument and QuestionPro Online Research Made EasyTM software and QlikView Business Intelligence (BI) software were used to analyze and compare data.

Dramatic changes in the nature of presidents' work since 1982 were found. Using comparative analysis, four major findings emerged from this study. One, every CC president's managerial activities easily fit under one of Mintzberg's typology of ten roles. Two, the five ATD presidents engaged in four times more managerial activities in 20 workdays than did Ivery's (1983) presidents in 25 workdays. Three, ATD presidents relied on modern technology to do more deskwork, less face-to-face work, and more work outside the office than Ivery's presidents. Four, ATD presidents attended 100 more meetings in 20 workdays than did Ivery's presidents in 25 workdays. Several recommendations for improved practice and future research are included.