Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between changes in the administrative organizational structure in community colleges and the workload of division chairmen. Changes in administrative organizational structures were characterized by structural complexity variables, primarily horizontal and vertical differentiation. Division chairman workload was analyzed, and division chairmen were described by demographic characteristics and employment patterns.;The division chairman has been identified in the literature to be a critical middle management position whose increasing workload is an issue. Reflecting a time of change in higher education in general, organizational changes have been taking place in community colleges in Virginia, particularly in the direction of consolidation, that were hypothesized to impact on this crucial position. The three year period from 1981-82 to 1984-85 was identified for study. The entire population of division chairmen in Virginia's Community College System was surveyed by a mail questionnaire in January 1985 to determine what changes in administrative organizational structures they perceived contributed to change in their workload.;Using non-parametric statistical tests to analyze the data, it was concluded that changes in community colleges in Virginia had occurred which decreased complexity in the college organizational structure but increased complexity at the divisional level. In examining the division chairman cohort in Virginia's community colleges over a ten year period, it was found that the division chairmen were stable in the position and tended toward increasing education and academic rank as well as prior experience in the two-year college.;There are implications from the study to suggest a further look at the nature of the division chairman position, particularly in Virginia, and preservice training for an applicant pool that is increasingly drawn from within the teaching faculty, with special attention to the female and minority representation. The level of involvement of division chairmen in the decision making process when changes in administrative organizational structure are made is an issue also raised by this study.;Finally, the question of whether the division chairman is primarily a faculty role, "first among peers," or is an administrative role continues to be an issue in collective bargaining. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.).



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