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Title:The role of the university presidential spouse as perceived by spouses and chairs of boards of trustees at Association of American Universities affiliated institutions
Author(s):Justice, Patricia Ann Szymczak
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fley, Jo Ann; Ory, John C.
Department / Program:Education, Administration
Education, Higher
Discipline:Education, Administration
Education, Higher
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Higher
Abstract:The study was designed to gather information on what the role of the university presidential spouse should be as reported by spouses and chairs of boards of trustees at member institutions of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The five objectives of this study were: (a) to determine to what extent spouses should be included in the presidential interview process, (b) to identify which activities should be required of spouses, (c) to determine whether the spouse should play an active role vis-a-vis the university, (d) to ascertain the amount of institutional support and the types of benefits that should be provided to spouses, and (e) to determine congruency or incongruency between spouses and trustees.
There were three unique features of this study. First, in addition to surveying presidential spouses, chairs of broads of trustees were asked to complete a questionnaire. Second, respondents were asked to define what the role should be rather than to describe the role as it currently existed. Third, the population for this study was a relatively small and homogeneous group of institutions which share some common characteristics including complexity of mission, which would present more uniform circumstances, opportunities, and expectations for presidential spouses.
The data were gathered from a survey that was mailed to spouses and trustees during the summer of 1989. At the time, AAU's membership included 30 public and 29 private institutions. When the survey was conducted, 55 of the presidents of these 59 institutions had spouses.
Among spouses, 85.5% (47) returned the survey. The response rate for trustees was 57.6% (34). Responses were received from spouses and trustees at 31 institutions.
Survey results revealed two major patterns of response. First, according to both spouses and trustees, the role of the spouse should be discussed informally between the board, the spouse, and the presidential candidate during the presidential interview process with the spouse actively participating in defining the role. Second, spouses described two types of involvement with the institution, either volunteer or employee. Trustees from public institutions tended to support these types of involvement, while trustees from private universities tended to view the role of the spouse as that of a volunteer.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Justice, Patricia Ann Szymczak
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026218
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026218

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