University and college presidencies as political campaigns

Mark P Campbell, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study is to explore the application of the logic and processes of political campaigns, particularly those of incumbents in executive positions such as mayors and governors, to university and college presidencies. The study employs a ten-part “Political Campaign Plan Framework.” Seven presidents were interviewed in-depth in this qualitative study between September 2003 and January 2004. The study focuses on the following: (1) Do university and college presidencies parallel political campaigns, especially those of incumbents seeking re-election; (2) What strategies, tactics, and information do presidents need to consider and implement in order to improve their own effectiveness in office; (3) How can presidents develop a framework and acquire the information needed to improve their own work, planning, and longevity as well as the effectiveness of their institutions; and finally, (4) Is a framework from politics useful in assisting presidents in being better prepared to succeed and meet head-on the multiple complexities of the presidency? This study further adapts the “Political Campaign Plan Framework” to create a “University and College President's Stewardship Campaign Plan Framework” to better inform, facilitate, and improve presidents' abilities to plan, organize, and implement their presidencies. The goal is straightforward: improved universities and colleges through more efficient and effective presidencies and presidents.

Subject Area

Higher education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Campbell, Mark P, "University and college presidencies as political campaigns" (2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3124680.