Dr. Ken Bird

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Title Critical factors in superintendency transitions
Author Bird, Kenneth Michael
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree EdD
Date 1993
Adviser Wendel, Frederick C.
Pages 113
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Abstract The selection of the superintendent is one of the primary functions of a school board. Far too often a board of education sees the selection of a superintendent as the completion of their responsibilities, and an incomplete transition of leadership occurs. The primary purposes of this field investigation were to detail a superintendency transition process and to identify critical events in this process. A qualitative, naturalistic inquiry design was used for this investigation. The investigation focused on the incumbent superintendent, the superintendent-elects, and the members of the Board of Education during the changes of chief executives for the Westside Community Schools between the years 1983 to 1992. This investigation was designed to: (a) provide a history of the Westside Community Schools and its rise to prominence; (b) describe the conditions that existed and led to the change in superintendents; (c) describe the transition process and procedures that have been used by the Westside Community Schools; and (d) provide a detailed analysis of the transition process and identify critical events in this process. The results of my investigation indicated that the transition of leadership from one superintendent to the next will be enhanced when the Board of Education recognizes its responsibility and role, and establishes a framework for the transition. Boards of Education seeking a smooth transition of leadership should consider the following: (a) agree on the need for a defined transition process which goes beyond the selection of a new superintendent; (b) obtain the full support of the outgoing superintendent for the transition process; (c) select a new superintendent well in advance of the departure of the current superintendent; (d) empower the outgoing superintendent with the prerogative to provide the superintendent-elect training and information, visibility, and authority to make decisions; (e) publicize the procedures and goals of the transition process to all stakeholders; and (f) monitor and evaluate the transition.
 
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