Publication Date

Fall 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Gary Houchens (Director), Kimberlee Everson, and John Millay

Degree Program

Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


This nearly perfect replicated study (Millay, 2003) was a superintendent recruitment simulation with the purpose of investigating factors that influence recruiting qualified individuals to serve as district superintendents of public schools. The study was a factorial experiment involving a four-way 2 x 2 x 2 x (3 x S) fixed-factor betweenwithin analysis of variance (ANOVA) which yielded 24 cells. The participants in the study were Kentucky Superintendents (N = 72) and individuals in Kentucky certified to be a school superintendent (N = 72) but employed in another position.

The between-groups variables were superintendent job status (superintendent, certified), district wealth (high, low), and signing bonus (yes, no). The within-groups repeated measures variable was school councils (decentralized, centralized, and hybrid). Each study participant rated three jobs; one job located in a district with decentralized school governance conducted through school councils; a second with centralized school governance conducted through the district central office; and finally a hybrid model where the superintendent joins the school council with a single vote for the position of principal. The dependent variable was an additive composite score of applicant rating of the job of superintendent.

Descriptive statistics revealed a small representation of minorities and females. Superintendents rated jobs in centralized districts much higher than hybrid and

decentralized districts. Certified participants rated jobs in hybrid districts slightly higher than centralized districts. Job status, signing bonus, and school councils were all three highly statistically significant for likelihood to interview and accept a superintendent position. Three two-way interactions were statistically significant for the likelihood to interview when signing bonus and job status variables were in the job description, the likelihood to accept a superintendent position when district wealth and job status were in the job description, and the likelihood to accept a superintendent position when district wealth and school council were in the job description. There was a three-way interaction among job status, district wealth, and signing bonus.


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