Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to learn how North Dakota school board members who had recendy participated in the selection of a school superintendent perceived the relative importance of (a) hiring practices, (b) administrative skills, and (c) superintendent attributes. Analyses of individual items and clusters of items were conducted. In addition to the general purpose, analyses were conducted by gender, by duration of board incumbency, and by school enrollment size.

Data for the study consisted of responses from 124 school board members from 39 school districts. (The universe of districts which had hired a superintendent during the 1990-1993 time frame was 55 districts.) Responses were gathered from a three-part questionnaire constructed by the writer.

Administrative skills assessments dominated the selection process for new superintendents. Board members placed more importance on personal attributes of candidates than on hiring practices used. Female board members generally recorded higher importance assessments than male board members. Female board members also preferred greater education, experience, and management skill. Board incumbency seemed to be a negligible variable in the selection of a new superintendent. In the selection process, board members from smaller schools valued the advice of others less than did board members from larger schools. Board members from large schools were less concerned about age, appearance, and current job location than were board members from smaller schools.