Date

1982

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

An Abstract of

A COMPARISON OF THE ROLE OF MALE AND FEMALE SPOUSES

OF PRESIDENTS OF SELECTED FOUR-YEAR,

PRIVATE COLLEGES

Judith A. Brissette

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Higher Education

The University of Toledo

August 1982

The purpose of this study was to compare the roles of the spouses of college presidents to determine if the roles played by male and female spouses were different.

A questionnaire was designed to use for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The questionnaire was field tested with nine presidents who were not part of the study.

Sixty-eight college presidents were selected to participate in the study; thirty-four female presidents of four-year, private colleges and thirty-four male presidents of four-year private colleges.

Questionnaires were returned by fifty-four of the presidents for a 79.14 percent response rate. Twenty-seven males and twenty-seven females responded. Twenty-six of the male presidents and fifteen of the female presidents were married.

Selected findings from the analysis of the data show that the roles of the male spouses were different than those of the female spouses in that:

  • More male presidents' spouses were invited to campus at the times of the presidential interviews than were those of the female presidents.
  • Search committees interviewed more spouses of female presidents than spouses of male presidents.
  • Only 16.77 percent of the wives, compared to 26.74 percent of the husbands, spent no time on college activities.
  • A high percentage (67.70 percent) of the female spouses spent from one to ten hours a week in college activities in comparison to 59.30 percent for the male spouses.
  • Only seven (28 percent) of the male presidents' spouses were currently employed in their own professions, as compared to fourteen (87.5 percent) of the female presidents' spouses.

Recommendations for Further Study

A Presidential Search Committee should discuss with more clarity the expected role of the spouse with the presidential candidate and the spouse.

The Presidential Search Committee should become more knowledgeable with those aspects of the search process which pertain to the spouse.

A follow-up study is suggested with this group of female college presidents to see how long they stay in their current presidencies, if they go on to other presidencies and if the roles their spouses have had to play influenced their decisions to resign, continue, or accept other presidencies.

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Higher Education

College / School

University of Toledo

Department / Program

Department of Higher Education

File Type

application/pdf

Pages

99 pp.

Institution

The University of Toledo

Repository

University of Toledo Libraries

Digital Publisher

Digital Initiatives

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