Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


The community college presidency is in critical state of evolution. Boggs (2003) stated that the rate of presidential retirements appears to be on the rise, with 79% of presidents planning to retire by 2012. Weisman and Vaughn (2007) in a 2006 survey found the number of presidents planning to retire within ten years is 84%. The most likely candidates to fill these presidential vacancies are the senior administrators. This presents a challenge because the senior administrators are at the same age as the retiring presidents and they too are preparing for retirement.

The previous generations of community college presidents, the pioneers, laid a solid foundation. The yet undefined and new generation of presidents is responsible for assuming the mantle of leadership in the future. The purpose of this study was to explore essential attributes and abilities needed by future community college presidents as defined by current community college board members and presidents. To generate data, semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the respondent’s views regarding the needed personal attributes and skills of future presidents. Through a qualitative data analysis, the community college presidents and board of trustee members identified personal attributes, skills and abilities, other factors, presidential leadership potential and challenges for aspiring presidents.

The primary recommendations stemming from this study include additional research to gain the perspectives of community college trustees in other states. The perspective of community college presidents in other states regarding the personal attributes, abilities, and professional experiences are vital for future community college presidents. Additionally, it is recommended to define the best practices for identifying and nurturing educational administrators who possess the personal attributes and skills to become future presidents; and best practices for those who possess the personal attributes and skills to become future presidents.