Dimensionality of management tasks performed by department heads of emerging universities

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


McLaughlin et al (1977), Dressel et al (1970, Corson (1975), and others characterized departmental administrators in four-year colleges and universities on a continuum ranging (1) from a"static" administrator, somewhat passively maintaining the status quo , to a"leader-like" individual aggressively pursuing change.

In a related (1979) study, Terry encountered the suggestion that the activities and behaviors of administrators in reality may not be one dimensional as described in the literature. Consequently, in this doctoral analysis, Terry formally examined the following possibilities:

  1. that the manner in which department heads discharge their major duties and responsibilities may lie in more than one dimension, and

  2. that multiple department heads may be dimensional differences among demonstrated operationally in a sample of former state colleges where change may be valued both in institutional programs and in traditional faculty roles of teaching and public service.

The study contradicted significant parts of the extant literature describing administrative style. Moreover, the study raised a serious question about the progress made by former state teachers colleges in their transition to comprehensive university status.