Barnes Presents at National Conference

Published: May 19, 2017

Dr. Yolonda Barnes, Program Chair for the Administrative Specialist program at College of Western Idaho (CWI), recently returned from the National Technology and Social Science Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The national conference, put on by the National Social Science Association, had over 1,000 attendees and more than 150 individuals presenting research.

Barnes had the opportunity during the conference to present her doctoral research “Dwindling Community College Resources Puts Pressure on Presidents to Increase Fundraising Efforts”. The purpose of her study was to identify underlying themes of chief development officer leadership competencies based on the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) six leadership competencies. The three groups participating in the research (presidents, chief academic officers, and chief development officers) were currently serving 28 Midwestern community colleges. Participants were asked to rank the AACC leadership competencies they thought were most important as it related to the chief development officer’s position and performance. Several themes emerged from the qualitative portion of Barnes’s study, which was conducted with a subset of Midwestern community college presidents: (a) communication is a vital skillset for presidents; (b) presidential fundraising preparedness is essential to fundraising success; (c) fundraising requires a dedicated time commitment; and (d) the traditional route to the presidency is evolving. 

Barnes’s study identified the importance of the chief development officer position having a broad understanding of the entire college in order to effectively communicate the case for donor investment. This study also affirmed that collaboration, communication, and advocacy are important competencies for those who aspire to become community college chief development officers.

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