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Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n3 Sum 2007

This study documented the experiences of women college presidents in associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral institutions in the United States. Using the quantitative and qualitative methods, the researcher looked at the women college presidents' perceptions on how gender affects leadership abilities, professional relationships, and personal characteristics. Participants surveyed included 46 women presidents from different institutions of higher education. The quantitative data were analyzed using the t-test. During the qualitative analysis of the data, the responses from the survey were reduced to categories. Following this, relationships that existed among the categories were established, and themes were developed. The themed highlighted the meanings that woven through the narratives. The data indicated that women presidents experienced discrimination and sexism in some colleges/universities. The researcher proposes that the oppositional discourse of masculine versus feminine leadership is outdated and calls for a new conversation on the appropriate characteristics for effective leadership.

Descriptors: College Presidents, Women Administrators, Trend Analysis, Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, Gender Differences, Leadership Qualities, Interprofessional Relationship, Institutional Characteristics, Administrator Surveys, Phenomenology, Questionnaires, Administrator Attitudes, Credibility, Governing Boards, Social Networks, Social Isolation

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Autor: Caton, Marcia T.


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