Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Diane Reed

Second Supervisor

Arthur Walton


This research study is an examination of entrepreneurial leadership and activity in independent colleges and universities in New York State. Many higher education institutions are facing serious financial challenges. Competition for enrollment and donations combined with price competition, increasing costs, student consumerism, and changing demographics are all factors that challenge the financial viability of independent colleges and universities. There is increasing pressure on the leadership of these institutions to find new sources of revenue to meet these financial challenges. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between and among the selfperceived entrepreneurial orientation of presidents and other variables including revenuegenerating activity and profitability, institutional characteristics including endowment and enrollment, financial stability, and the demographic and professional backgrounds of presidents. Using a quantitative research design, a saturation sample of 55 independent college and university presidents in New York State was surveyed. The findings suggest that presidents' entrepreneurial orientation, level of preparedness, and institution's revenue-generating activities are important to financial stability. The aging population of presidents and the shrinking pool of less-prepared replacements will present challenges for succession planning at institutions. Current economic conditions are producing moderate financial distress for independent colleges and universities in New York State. The need for more effective and accessible leadership development programs was identified to ensure a pool of prepared candidates for future college presidencies.

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