Chinese Research University Presidents' Roles: Ideal Expectations and Actual Status-Based on the Content Analysis of China Education Daily

By Xing, Yin; Zhuolin, Feng | Canadian Social Science, September 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Chinese Research University Presidents' Roles: Ideal Expectations and Actual Status-Based on the Content Analysis of China Education Daily


Xing, Yin, Zhuolin, Feng, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

The ideal and actual roles of Chinese research university presidents are analyzed in this paper. A content analysis of the news reports in China Education Daily from 2000 to 2012 is conducted. Comments genre reports have been analyzed in order to find the expecting roles and actual roles, Compared with the actual roles reflected by content analysis of interview genre and information genre reports, the role of educator is mismatched. Then the reasons have been analyzed. Reflecting from the findings, some suggestions for the Chinese research university presidents to promote their educator roles are provided in this paper.

Key words : Research university presidents; Role; Content analysis; Educator

INTRODUCTION

As the top leader of a university, the president is the center of the whole university. University president plays an important role on the development of the university. Since 21st Century, with the rising of global university ranking, the increasing fierce competition among universities, university presidents sustain great responsibilities and play multiple roles. This study concluded the leading roles of research university presidents through related literature, including the teachers responsible for the development of students, the academic spokespersons responsible for academic research and translation of science and technology, the managers responsible for the functioning of organization, the social activists and communicators responsible for dealing with the various relationships. Meanwhile, the university president is also an educator, thinker and moral model who is shaping and keeping the spirit and idea of a university (Feng, 2011, p.87).

This study focuses on the actual public roles and the expecting roles of Chinese research university presidents through the perspective of major mass media. Are there any dislocation between the two types of roles and the real roles reflected from the university presidents' works? What's the reason?

1. STUDY DESIGN

Content analysis is a research method to calculating the obvious content of communication objectively and and describe the result (Krippendorff, 1980). This study choose the texts related to Chinese research president from Chinese major press China Education Daily, analyze the texts using content analysis (Inch, Moore, & Murphy, 1997).

China Education Daily is a national daily newspaper about educational news sponsored by the Ministry of Education. It can reliably, precisely and timely broadcast P°licy party and government, as well as information about educational revolution or development. It also has huge stable readership from colleges, middle schools, primary schools and educational institutions, affecting the administrators of universities and the public.

Researchers retrieved the database of important Chinese newspapers for university presidents, with the time limit from January 1st 2000 to December 31th 2012, and got 354 texts. The useless texts (the texts not related to research university presidents, simple messages, and the texts not related to university presidents' main duties (Jauch, Osbom, & Martin, 1980).) were deleted. By reading the texts one by one, we got 214 texts. This study firstly analyzed the objective information of the effective texts. They included 51 reviews, which took up 24%, 75 interviews, which took up 35%, and 88 pieces of information, which took up 41%. This study analyzed the reviews part by theme.

The figure below reflects the theme distribution of reviews, it includes the role of university president, professionalization of university president, the spirit of president, took up 91% of the whole text. Meanwhile, other texts qualitatively discuss the themes about the character of university president, election of university president and the tenure of president.

The texts about role usually discuss the real role of the university president and then expect the ideal role on their views. …

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