Work-related stress factors affecting the community college dean

Wild, Linda
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Community college deans support and guide the educational efforts of the community college. This middle manager, charged with productive interaction among students, faculty, and administration, is faced regularly with complex decisions. Furthermore, the dean is challenged today with reduced resources, expanded demands from students, and increased accountability from governing bodies and constituencies. Community college deans are under great stress as they strive to meet the mission of the community college and guide the institution into the future.;Due to the complexity and multiple pressures of the position, it is important to identify the causes of stress for the deans. If stressors can be identified, steps can be taken to manage the effect of these stressors on the deans.;In 2000, a national survey was completed and data compiled from 324 deans. Individuals who hold first-line administrative positions without teaching responsibilities were identified as the desired respondents for this survey. Personal, professional, and institutional data were collected and a 41-item Community College Dean's Stress Inventory was completed as part of the survey.;The items of the stress inventory were analyzed using principal component analysis to determine major stress factors. Nine factors emerged. The stress factor that was identified as the first of these nine factors included items that indicate interactions with supervisors and the organizational culture cause the greatest amount of stress for the deans. In a second phase of the research, selected independent variables were examined to determine their impact on the stress factors.;Implications for the research are to provide current knowledge about the profile of a community college dean and the factors that cause stress in this position. Little research about the community college dean is available in the published literature. Data gathered from this survey are intended to expand understanding of the dean's position and the stress factors he or she encounters. For each community college, this knowledge will enable the college, supervisors, and dean in recognizing and managing the stress-causing elements of the dean's job and enhance the dean's success.

Educational leadership and policy studies, Education (Educational leadership), Educational leadership