Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Traditional American Indian leadership was the foundation of today‘s Indian leadership. The belief in the Indian value system, which was integrated throughout traditional leadership, has greatly contributed to leadership qualities for Indian people. A change in how Native Americans interpret Indian leadership began with the introduction of tribal governments. Tribal governments forced Indian people into a different form of leadership. Although new leadership roles came into existence, the concept of traditional leadership continued. Many current tribal leaders were looked upon favorably if they possess traditional cultural values. Even today, elders and community members with strong cultural knowledge are sought out as leaders; this is especially true for Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU).

Very little information was available on the effectiveness of TCU governing boards. The purpose of this study was to examine leadership skills of TCU governing boards and to attribute those skills to governance effectiveness. The Holland and Blackmon Board Self Assessment Questionnaire (BSAQ) instrument was used to identify and measure the effectiveness of leadership roles of TCU board members. The BSAQ has six competencies which define effectiveness of board members in each of the competency areas. The research questions developed in this study examined board differences between TCU governing boards and the BSAQ standard test value, relationships among competencies/dimensions, difference in overall competencies/dimensions, and differences in competencies/dimensions by length of time an individual served on the board.

Conclusions were that there was not as much agreement by the Tribal College board members as there was by the norm group. This may be explained by the fact that as a group the Tribal College board members do not have as much experience working with a bureaucracy.