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Senior Leaders in CCCU Institutions: Group Attributes

posted Dec 17, 2011, 2:46 PM by Greg Smith   [ updated Dec 17, 2011, 2:47 PM ]
In the post where I introduced this research project I alluded to the fact that the senior leadership group at CCCU institutions is known by a variety of terms--Cabinet, Administration, Council, etc. It's fitting to ask what this group looks like in various institutions. How large is the group, and who is invited to be a part of it? In this post I'll address those questions, noting the diversity of forms that the administrative body takes on various campuses.

As I noted in my earlier post, the senior leadership body ranges in size from a minimum of 3 members to a maximum of 21. However, more than three-quarters of institutions have a leadership group with 5 to 9 members. The average number of inner-circle administrators is 8.1, the median is 7, and the mode is 6. Table 1 shows the distribution of officer headcounts across the 102 schools.


Table 1. Senior Leadership Group Headcount Distribution

Senior Leadership Group Headcount Distribution


The cabinet, as the senior officers' group is called on 37 campuses, is above all a circle of leaders in whom the president has invested his or her trust. Indeed, in 32 institutions the name of the leadership body includes a form of the word President in it. So what kinds of officers are most often invited to be members of the president's cabinet? As Table 2 shows, vice presidents of all types (VPs, Executive VPs, Assistant/Associate VPs, etc.)--are the most common constituents, accounting for 62% of the body's members. Provost positions do not exist everywhere, but where they do, they're in the inner circle (6%). Deans and directors may also be invited to the table (7% and 4%, respectively), but this is probably done selectively more often than not. Other kinds of officers make up 8% of the total.


Table 2. Distribution of Position Levels in Senior Leadership Groups

Position Type
Count
% of Total
Average/ Institution
VP
414
50.4%
4.1
President
103
12.5%
1.0
Dean
57
6.9%
0.6
Provost
52
6.3%
0.5
Director
36
4.4%
0.4
Senior VP
36
4.4%
0.4
Asst/Assoc VP
30
3.6%
0.3
Executive VP
28
3.4%
0.3
Other
66
8.0%
0.6
Total
822
100.0%
8.1


Clearly, the senior leadership group is an exclusive group. Eighty percent of presidents lead a body of 9 or fewer officers, and these are typically people with very high levels of administrative responsibility. A sizable minority of cabinet officers (23%)--presidents, provosts, and others--have purview over the entire institution. But the majority represent one or more divisions of the institution. The functional areas most often represented at the president's table are academics (16%), finances (13%), advancement (11%), and student affairs (10%). The distribution of officers from these and other areas of operation are shown in Table 3.


Table 3. Areas of Responsibility Represented in Senior Leadership Groups

Area of Responsibility
Count
% of Total
Institution-Wide
20423.1%
Academic Affairs
143
16.2%
Financial/Business Affairs
116
13.2%
Advancement/Development
96
10.9%
Student Affairs
92
10.4%
Enrollment
76
8.6%
Marketing/Communication
37
4.2%
Administration
35
4.0%
Institutional Relations
33
3.7%
Information Technology/Services
273.1%
Campus Ministries/Spiritual Life
23
2.6%
Other
65
18.5%

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