A qualitative study of women university presidents from dual -career families

2007 2007

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The number of women university presidents is on the rise, and a growing number of women presidents are married and have children. Although women university presidents have been studied in the past, much of the previous research concentrated on their experiences as they related to the work in academe. The purpose of this multi-case study was to examine the experiences of five U.S. university presidents who are members of dual career families in order to identify factors of success in achieving work and family goals, barriers and methods used to overcome these barriers, and how these women defined and worked toward attaining balance between their work and home lives.

The participants achieved success in their careers through meticulous dedication to their work. Likewise, the participants achieved success in their home lives through marriages that have lasted nearly 40 years and the raising of their children. They relied heavily on the support of their husbands and families and sacrificed time with their families in order to accommodate the careers they chose in administration. Compromises along the way, by everyone in the family, were many and ranged from help with household chores to spouses choosing to retire so that their wives could accept administrative positions which required a move. For the participants whose husbands did not retire, they resorted to maintaining separate households in order to accommodate the duelling dual careers.

Each of the participants was dedicated to carving time out of their work life for their husbands and families. Even though they were committed to doing so, they still felt varying degrees of imbalance in their work/home lives. Though they enjoyed the work of being university president, they recognized it as a powerful force that could consume every moment of their lives if they would allow it.

Indexing (details)

Womens studies;
School administration;
Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
0453: Womens studies
0514: School administration
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; Dual-career; Presidents; University; Women administrators; Work-life balance
A qualitative study of women university presidents from dual -career families
Cahalan, Jodi L.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 68/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Grady, Marilyn L.
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University location
United States -- Nebraska
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.