Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Robert J. Hanny


The purpose of this study was to investigate current practices by which Virginia college and university boards assess their president. of prime importance to this study was the degree to which criteria used to conduct presidential performance appraisal reflect accepted standards for personnel evaluation in higher education institutions. This study utilized a mixed design. Completed surveys received from 26 Virginia college and university board chairs (67 percent of the 39 schools targeted) were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis Test analyses. Twenty presidents from this sample's institutions were then interviewed to further explain and interpret how the variables that were revealed as a result of the survey differ and relate to each other.;Findings indicate that representatives of the 26 institutions taking part in the study conduct regular and systematic performance reviews of their president, most of which are informal in nature. Most participants agree on the criteria used to assess the president's performance. Although the criterion, Administrative Leadership and Management, surfaces as the most important factor overall, additional analyses indicate that it is the most important criterion in private liberal arts institutions, whereas Academic Leadership and Management is the most important appraisal criterion in public doctoral and research institutions. In addition, performance criteria currently in place are characteristic of the four attributes the Personnel Evaluation Standards advocates.;Thematic analyses revealed that Virginia board chairs and presidents alike are interested in presidential performance appraisal and want to do it well. Board chairs and presidents agree with higher education researchers that certain criteria are important to consider when reviewing the president's performance. These criteria center around: creation of a vision, being an advocate and role model for the institution, fostering good communication in an atmosphere of integrity, administrative skills, and financial management and fund raising skills.



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