Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Benjamin S. Selznick

Karen A. Ford

Jeanne Horst



New professional attrition in Student Affairs has been established as a concern for the field (Bender, 1980; Lorden, 1998; Renn & Hodges, 2007; Marshall, Gardner, Hughes, & Lowery, 2016). The debilitating impacts on university finances, productivity, organizational stability, team disruption, and innovation as a result of this problem creates urgency for the field to understand its predictors. The current study reviewed the impact of new professionals’ work-related quality of life, their perception of the use of synergistic supervision by their direct supervisors, and their perception of the use of executive servant leadership by divisional leaders as potential predictors of attrition. Using logistic regression, several models were examined to determine the isolated influence of each of these study variables and the cumulative impact. Counter to hypotheses, the perceptions of style in both the supervisor and divisional leaders were not statistically significant. As hypothesized, the predictive value of work-related quality of life for new professionals proved to be significant, demonstrating that as new professionals increase in their level of work-related quality of life, the odds of them intending to leave the field decrease. The factors of work-related quality of life were further explored for their predictive value. New professionals’ job and career satisfaction and their general well-being were important predictors with both demonstrating that as they increased, the odds of new professionals intending to leave the field decreased. Control at work was a significant predictor as well with increases in the perceived level of control leading to increases in the odds of new professionals intending to leave Student Affairs. These findings provide insight on new professional attrition for Student Affairs supervisors, divisional leaders, and national organizations. Recommendations for Student Affairs leadership and suggestions for further research are discussed.



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