Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded

Secondary Education

Committee Chair(s)

Terrance E. Hatch


Terrance E. Hatch


The purpose of the study was to determine how superintendents in the state of Utah perceived their role as superintendent. It focused on: (1) how superintendents perceived their role as superintendents, (2) what demands were affecting their role, (3) if superintendents in different-size school districts perceived their role differently, (4) how the superintendent-board relationship was viewed by the superintendents, and (5) what the superintendents considered to be the greatest problems facing them in Utah today.

A survey research design was used to collect the data from all 40 superintendents. For the purposes of analysis, the districts they represented were divided into three categories based on district size.

Two instruments were used to collect the data. They were: (1) the Superintendent Behavior Questionnaire developed by Raymond Fast (1968), and (2) a personal data sheet and interview guide. In addition, three questions were used to find out how superintendents spent their time.

The information obtained from the questionnaire and personal data sheet were analyzed in two ways. First, a one-way analysis was done between the independent variable (school district size) and the subscores on the nine dimensions of the Superintendent Behavior Questionnaire. No significant differences were found. Second, an item-by-item analysis was done between the demographic data and the 37 items of the questionnaire using Chi-square crosstabulations. Only 21 of the 407 crosstabulations were significant at α=.05 and above.

It was found that: (1) superintendents had a positive perception of their role as superintendent and a positive relationship with the local boards of education; (2) there was no difference in how superintendents in different-size school districts perceived their role; (3) the highest-ranking demands from federal and state agencies and local constituencies were paperwork, resolving problems of parents-students-staff in terms of patron input and teacher militancy, and handling increasing costs and inflation.

The Three highest-ranking problems superintendents stated they were facing were: (1) financial demands in terms of providing more services on a limited tax base, dealing with inflation, and increasing energy costs; (2) time and resources to provide quality education for a growing school population, and teacher problems in terms of teacher militancy, loss of good teachers to other occupations, and the removal of mediocre teachers; and (3) the expectations of special interest groups.



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