Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1989


The primary purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between the financial health of academic institutions and the leadership style of college and university presidents. Financial health was defined as the ability of an institution to pay its current debts. Secondly, the study tested a number of hypotheses derived from the contingency model of leadership effectiveness. Lastly, the study attempted to determine if there was an association between two lists of institutions considered to be led by effective presidents. The study involved a stratified random sample of 263 private institutions accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Data analysis for seven of the eight null hypotheses posed was based upon the scored responses from 77 presidents and financial data from 53 of their associated institutions. Financial data from 199 institutions was used to test the remaining hypothesis. The data were analyzed by means of the Jaspen's M correlational technique, one-way analysis of variance, directional t tests for independent data, and a point-biserial correlation. From the data analysis, it was determined that a significant association did not exist between financial health and leadership style and financial health and institutional degree granting status. The scored data failed to support, as well, the major tenets of the contingency model. In addition, a significant association was not established between institutions led by presidents with reputations for effective leadership and institutions led by presidents who were considered effective by the terms of this study. The data analysis did establish that the majority of the responding presidents were task-oriented leaders operating in high control situations and that institutions which offered the bachelor's degree as their highest degree awarded were those most frequently found in the good financial health category while those which offered the master's degree as their highest degree awarded were those most frequently found in the poor financial health category.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access