Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis K. Haynes

Second Advisor

Rebecca S. Lake

Third Advisor

Kimberly Oosterhouse


According to current reports, the experts are predicting a mass exodus of senior community college leaders, including presidents. News reports have indicated that some community college presidents have retired due to health problems. For whatever reason, it will cost the institutions to replace the presidents. The presidents are the decision makers of the community college. The presidents provide the guidance to the institution. In order to accomplish the duties of president, they need to have the physical and mental capacity to endure long hours required to complete these tasks.

The purpose of the study was to explore the health and wellness initiative of rural Illinois community college presidents and the perceptions of their personal health and wellness initiatives affecting their job performance. This qualitative case study was situated in an interpretive paradigm. Four rural Illinois community college presidents described their perceptions on their health and wellness, wellness initiatives, health impact on their job performance, and factors that aid in wellness decisions making.

Findings indicate the study participants believe that they are in good health and are able to complete their presidential duties. They believe there are health conditions that can impair job performance and there are measures that can be taken to aid in the prevention of these debilitating conditions. The participating presidents believe being healthy improves job performance. The presidents participate in wellness initiatives. Some initiatives are chosen at the discretion of the presidents and their physicians prescribe other initiatives. The wellness initiatives taken by the presidents only seem to meet their physical, mental, and spiritual needs. To have the most effective health and wellness program, consultation with physicians and other wellness practitioners needs to occur. Topics during consultation should include intellectual wellness, social wellness, and occupational wellness along with mental wellness, physical wellness, and spiritual wellness. Community college presidents need to be educated in all aspects of wellness and the consequences of poor health. Proper health knowledge is needed to make good decisions on wellness initiatives and ultimately to have healthy community college presidents.