ItemGovernment Leadership During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic(2023-08) Hempel, BrianThis study looks to express the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on elected county commissioners’ leadership and decision-making. The researcher conducted a qualitative study to answer two research questions. In order to answer the two research questions, the researcher used quantitative methods to identify the counties that outperformed all other counties in the United States; the researcher found there are six counties that performed better based on the variables used. From these six counties, the researcher found that there are 81 people serving those counties in the capacity of an elected county commissioner. The first research question looked to find what leadership styles the elected leaders of those counties used to minimize the deaths from COVID-19; the researcher found that elected officials in counties that outperformed all others used the principles of servant leadership, authentic leadership, or a combination of both. The second research question attempted to identify what changes county leaders made to their decision-making during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic; the researcher found a systematic approach to decision-making that had five major themes: information, awareness, previous experience, human impact, and communication. ItemWisdom and Leadership: An Exploratory Study on Accelerating the Cultivation of Wisdom(2023-04) Gonzalez, NoraWisdom and leadership should go hand in hand. Both are concerned with human flourishing. Leadership is about making the right things happen the right way for the good of the collective.Discerning and doing the right things ultimately requires wisdom. While wisdom is esteemed as the highest intellectual and moral virtue, few studies explore the relationship between wisdom and leadership, especially how leaders understand and acquire wisdom. The three guiding questions for this study were: 1. Would higher education leaders who participate in a wisdom educational intervention experience an increase in their self-reported wisdom scores? 2. Do years of leadership experience moderate leaders’ self-reported wisdom scores? and 3. Do faith, gender, years of leadership experience, and specialty/career field affect self-reported wisdom scores? A pretest-posttest control-group design was utilized using Ardelt’s abbreviated Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS-12). This study explored the nature of wisdom, whether leaders could accelerate their acquisition of wisdom by reading a synthesis of wisdom, and leaders’ reading habits. Leaders in four-year universities across the United States were randomly assigned to two groups. They completed the abbreviated 3D-WS-12 before and after the experimental group read a primer on wisdom. The study did not find statistical significance for its three hypotheses. However, participants’ answers to the open-ended questions revealed they found the intervention helpful in acquiring and practicing wisdom; most acknowledged that they did not engage in much outside reading. Results indicate additional research is needed to explore the relationship between wisdom and leadership and how leaders can cultivate wisdom. ItemThe Phenomenon of Blacks Emerging Out of Poverty into Prominent Leadership Positions(2022-12) Board, AfarahA disproportionate number of Blacks live in poverty, experience trauma and adversity as children, and face more challenges to achieve success than non-Blacks. Yet still some rise. Why is that? This phenomenological study explores answers. The researcher examined the lived experiences of Blacks who lived in poverty, scored high adverse childhood experiences (ACE) levels, and underwent other traumatic experiences. The participants completed the ACE questionnaire, and the researcher conducted interviews, evaluated scores, and captured the essence of their stories. Responses to research questions focused on what motivated the participants to emerge from poverty and adversity to become prominent leaders, the advice they would give to their younger selves, and the leadership traits and principles they practice as leaders today. The study established that all participants lived in poverty, experienced adversity and trauma as a child but were able to emerge into successful positions. A significant finding is that participants in this study defied the odds by overcoming their poverty, adversity, and trauma to emerge into success and give hope to other Black children. Participants were motivated by self-determination, support of their family, extended family—or “the village"—and strong belief in Christ. The experiences of resiliency and the strong personal will to succeed led them to form natural leadership characteristics at a young age, transform their circumstances and environments, and develop a desire to serve others. These leaders operationalize a variety of leadership principles in their current positions. Hear their life stories and view the research results within the study. ItemTo Apologize or Not to Apologize… What Else Is in Between? A Case Study Analysis with Implications for Leaders & Organizational Context(2022-12) Sega, TaylorThe purpose of this content analysis case study was to determine if there was a correlation between the leadership apology behaviors utilized after a scandal, the organizational context, and the leadership style responsible for building the context by utilizing a case study content analysis. The six cases examined were the Nixon Watergate scandal, the NFL Colin Kaepernick controversy, the Wells Fargo fraudulent account scandal of 2016, the JetBlue crisis of 2007, the Emma Watson reparations statement made in response to performative allyship claims in 2020, and the Toto Wolff apology to Sir Lewis Hamilton after the 2022 Imola Grand Prix loss. The researcher provided a history of the existing literature on the field of apologies and analyzed the cases before examining the organizational context, the visible leadership style, the apology delivered by leadership, and the responses from the constituents. The researcher utilized publicly available information, archival data, and articles to analyze the cases as well as Diction software to measure for emotional tonality of the apology. The data suggest that there is a tri-directional relationship between the organizational context, the leadership style utilized, and the leadership apology behaviors. These data are presented and discussed in addition to limitations, suggestions for future research, and broader implications. ItemMarginalizing the Majority: Barriers to California Baccalaureate Attainment(2022-08) Quintanar, Brittnee A.California is home to the nation’s largest higher education systems which once served as the model for access, affordability, and excellence. However, decades of declining state investment and existing policies are marginalizing the majority of California students and perpetuating social stratification across the state. Without policy transformation, California will fail to meet demands for a more highly educated workforce. Higher education CEOs hold a unique vantage point in which they bridge and buffer micro, meso, and macro forces, and are positioned to provide nuanced insight into higher education’s complex ecosystem. This qualitative grounded theory study evaluated how California public higher education CEOs (UC n = 11, CSU n = 8, CCC n = 28) understand and navigate the challenges of increasing undergraduate access and attainment. Saturation of data reveals three broad themes - systemic barriers, institutional practices, and societal determinants - each with several subthemes. From business operations to curricular decisions, findings reveal a tension and inverse relationship amongst two continuums: uniformity and autonomy. Recent legislative reforms and higher education budget performance expectations propagate increasing intra and intersegmental uniformity, addressing participant concerns over disparate and circuitous pathways. However, participants caution against one-size-fits-all legislative approaches as each campus serves unique regional industry and student needs. Therefore, regional needs should moderate identification of the “sweet spot,” the point at which autonomy and uniformity continuums converge. California public higher education CEOs must balance the autonomy and uniformity continuums as they attempt to move their respective campus mission and strategic goals forward.