Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Wallace Cohen, EdD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Ivan L. Jones, EdD


California, Chief Executive Officers--CEOs, board evaluation, community colleges, district governing, higher education, policies and practices, Leadership studies, perception


Purpose. The focus of this study was to examine whether the California community college chief executive officers perceived their governing boards' evaluation policies and practices to be effective, and whether those evaluations contributed to their improved performance. Methodology. An ethnographic research design and interviewing methodologies were used for this study. The sample consisted of 20 California community college districts and chief executive officers selected from the 70 California community college districts based on: (a) multi-college and multi-campus district or single district organization, (b) northern or southern California district location, and (c) the district's chief executive's length of service as the superintendent. Findings and conclusions. Some of the major findings and conclusions of the study were: (1) The majority of the California community college chief executives perceived their board evaluations to be effective based on the presence of two factors: (a) a trust relationship between the board and the chief executive; and (b) an understanding by the chief executive of the board's expectations; (2) The variables of internal and external district environments, congruence between chief executive's self-described roles and the criteria used for the evaluation, and the board members coupled with the interaction among the variables caused each chief executive's evaluation to be unique and situational to the district; (3) The form and content of the chief executives' evaluations is not what caused the evaluations to be effective; (4) Locally-elected boards evaluate their chief executives primarily for bureaucratic purposes, which means the boards' primary concerns are the management of the districts and the determination of extending the chief executive officers' contracts. Recommendations. A major recommendation of the study is that chief executives and boards should not look for evaluation models, but instead look for methods and processes appropriate to their district environments to enhance the relationship between the board and the chief executive and to increase the chief executive's understanding of the board's expectations.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access