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Marta Shaw, Tim Van Soelen
This dissertation explores the intricate interplay of presidential priorities in the evolving landscape of higher education, particularly within the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Over the past 15 years, college presidents have confronted various challenges, from budget constraints and racial tensions to employee engagement and the Great Resignation, all amid a backdrop of eroding public trust in higher education. While researchers have explored some aspects of presidential experiences, there is a gap in understanding the lived experiences of college presidents who are fathers. Through qualitative phenomenological research, this study engaged nine CCCU college presidents to answer the research question: “What are the lived experiences of CCCU college presidents who are fathers?” Three central themes emerged. First, the CCCU college presidents expressed a profound sense of calling to their roles, underlining their “no regrets” perspective. Second, the CCCU college presidents revealed the challenge of “mutual encroachment” as a substitute for traditional work/life balance. Lastly, the CCCU college presidents shared valuable insights into “discovered practices and strategies” that enable them to navigate the interplay between their presidential duties and family life. This research provides critical insights into the multifaceted lives of CCCU college presidents who are fathers, shedding light on their experiences, sacrifices, and innovative approaches in this demanding role.
Huisman, B. (2023). The Push and Pull of Presidential Priorities: The Lived Experiences of College Presidents [Doctoral dissertation, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/1041