Date of Graduation
Candidates (N = 609) for six presidencies in the State College System of West Virginia between 1995 and 1998 were studied and a comparison was made between successful candidates (n = 93) and unsuccessful candidates (n = 516). Successful candidates were defined as those who were judged by the search and screening committees to be best qualified to be interviewed. Candidate application packets and search committee records were the source of data. Independent variables included positions held by candidates at the time of application, baccalaureate graduation dates, education levels, major fields of graduate study, gender, and locations at the time of application. Stepwise multiple linear regression, correlational statistics, analysis of variance, and descriptive statistics were used in the statistical analyses of the study, and an alpha level of .05 was used to define significance. The variable of positions held at the time of application was the strongest predictor of success. Successful candidates were more likely than unsuccessful candidates to be college chief executive officers or chief academic officers at the time of application. A second predictor of success, when combined with positions held, was baccalaureate graduation dates. Baccalaureate degrees were received earlier by the successful candidates than the unsuccessful candidates. Education levels were determined to be significant when considered independently but not when combined with other variables. One hundred percent of the successful candidates held earned doctorates, compared with 90.9% of the unsuccessful candidates. The profiles of both the successful and unsuccessful candidates were similar to the profile of seated presidents nationwide in the following ways: Candidates in both pools were extremely likely to hold earned doctorates and had often studied education or the arts and sciences at the graduate level. Both groups represented a broad cross-section of geographic locations and appeared to be geographically mobile. Many candidates, especially those in the successful pool, were chief executive officers and chief academic officers at the time of application. There was a lower percentage of women in this study than the percentage of women in presidencies. An ancillary finding was that candidates who had pursued post-doctoral study were significantly more likely to be found in the successful pool.
Carter, Marie Ellen, "A comparison of the profiles of successful and unsuccessful candidates for college presidencies in the State College System of West Virginia." (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8577.