Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. Thomas V. O'Brien

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lilian H. Hill

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. R. Eric Platt

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

This study examined servant leadership practiced by academic support staff of academic departments within four-year, post-secondary institutions. These support staff include employees within academic departments such as secretaries, administrative assistants, and coordinators that do not have managerial responsibilities and are not instructional faculty. The target population for this study was all full-time and part-time students, both undergraduate and graduate, eighteen years of age or older, and enrolled at post-secondary four-year higher education institutions in Mississippi. Results based on the data collected suggested a majority of academic support staff rated at four of the seven institutions exhibited the characteristics of servant leaders. When grouped by enrollment, (a) small institutions, (b) medium institutions, and (b) large institutions, the majority of academic support staff rated at the small institutions were considered servant leaders while a majority of those at larger institutions were not. Not only did the results suggest a statistically significant relationship with institution size, but student ethnicity also indicated a relationship with servant leadership.

This study also evaluated the relationship between the level of servant leadership practiced by academic support staff and the student’s satisfaction with their connection to the campus. Results indicated that as the servant leadership score of academic support staff increased so did the student’s satisfaction score. Institution size and student ethnicity were again unique predictors of student satisfaction.

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