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Research was conducted at Chapman University, Orange County, California, to explore the transformational leadership practices of Dr. James Doti, professor of Economics and president emeritus of Chapman University from 1991-2016, who led its transformation from a sleepy liberal arts college in Southern California to a midsized university of national stature. The theoretical framework for the study was the transformational leadership theory by Burns (1978) and Bass (1985). This study investigated the president’s demonstration of the four components of transformational leadership as identified by Bass: Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, and Individual Consideration. Data collection was via interviews, document analysis, and observation of archival videos. James Doti personified transformational leadership. His compelling vision, personal charisma, and financial acumen created the optimum atmosphere for the transformation that brought Chapman University out of obscurity, and into national prominence.


Adejoke Kassim, EdD, is a graduate of the School of Education at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia. She is the President and CEO of Kairos Educational Services LLC. Virginia.

Jim Zabloski, EdD, is an assistant professor and coordinator of instructional support at the School of Divinity, and research methodologist at the School of Education at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.

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