Comprehensive Exam Questions
Higher Education Leadership
Your responses to each section are limited to 15 pages each, not including references. There are
two sections to the comprehensive exam. Part 1: Higher Education Leadership Specialization;
Part 2: Research. In your response to each section, please include the comprehensive exam
question at the top of the page, your response, and a reference list for your response. Thus, there
will be two separate reference lists following your response to each section. Be sure to submit
ONE Word document as your comprehensive exam. Page numbers are required for the total
Part 1.Higher Education Leadership
You are the new incoming president of “X” University. Your predecessor was asked to step
down by the board of trustees after 15 years of service.
Although the faculty and staff respected him, the university’s applications for admissions are
down, the academic quality is declining, the endowment is not growing as quickly as
expected, and the academic reputation of the university is in decline.
The faculty and students are very upset by the resignation of their respected and beloved
president. Some of the best faculty members are threatening to quit, while the
administration is hesitant to verbalize its unhappiness and disappointment in the face of a
a) Analyze the scenario presented.
Who are the stakeholders in this case and what are their issues?
How will you address and respond to the issues of the stakeholders?
How do you intend to lead this institutional change process?
What theoretical leadership lens/frames will be considered and why?
b) As the new incoming president of X University, what are your strategic plans
for establishing a ‘fresh climate’ and ‘new culture’ at the University?
Be sure that you
address the following components in your response:
Organization and Governance
Legal and Ethical Issues
You must limit your answer to no more than fifteen (15) pages.
Part 2: Research
The research portion of your exam consists of the following question.
Conduct a literature review of at least ten (10) current research studies focused on an issue
in your field of study: educational leadership, sports leadership, early childhood education,
organizational leadership, higher education leadership, and teacher leadership.
All resource materials must be from scholarly, empirically based, peer reviewed
sources that involve actual research studies related to your topic of interest. This
review must offer a scholarly dialogue not simply a summary or list of what has been done
on the topic.
Synthesize common threads in the existing research related to your issue of choice.
Identify patterns in the literature, as well as offer critique of that literature. Be certain to
identify gaps in knowledge, any conflicts in findings, approaches and/or methodologies
commonly used by prior researchers, and how a study of this issue will offer additional
scholarship on the topic (especially in relationship to your organization).
You must limit your review to no more than fifteen (15) pages.
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