Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF KEITH B. REINHARDT, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION, presented on May 26, 2011, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: PERCEPTIONS OF FACULTY ASSOCIATION LEADERS: ROLES AND ESSENTIAL SKILL MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Patrick Dilley A specific perspective of how faculty association leaders function at a tangible level has yet to be presented. Past studies describe faculty leadership as a collective abstract idea or theme, disregarding the concept and importance of individual faculty leader's roles at an operational level. The purpose of the study was to identify the roles and skills of present-day faculty association leaders (FALs) within Illinois' public four-year universities with a collective bargaining unit and distinguish tangible actions of these individuals as they exercised their everyday roles in this professional capacity. A qualitative research design was used to gather data and explore perceptions and life experiences of twelve FALs at six Illinois public four-year universities with collective bargaining. A personal interview was conducted with each participant with the assistance of a researcher designed interview guide. FALs view their role as that of a contract manager: one who interprets, negotiates, and defends the contract in conjunction with informing their constituents to contractual matters of concern. The ability to communicate effectively was identified as the primary professional skill required of FALs. The ability to be an empathetic listener with the capacity to be open-minded and flexible to circumstances on-hand was identified as the foremost personal skill best suited for FALs. This research advances the contextual understanding of FALs as they go about fulfilling their daily roles and their need for preparatory training.
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