Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Chunling Niu


Lisa R Brown


James Simpson


The transformation of educational resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was presented as a crucial part of vision 2030 by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016 as an important part of an overall strategy to diversify the KSA from its over-dependence on oil revenues. Vision 2030 imagined the transformational development of knowledge resources in the KSA including the development of leadership and knowledge applications to support the social and economic needs of the nation. High on the list of priorities was transformation of the 33 public universities in the KSA to be able to operate autonomously. Clearly, there would have to be uniquely qualified leadership to undertake such a transformational objective that would call for unique visionary, educational, as well as financial development and staffing entrepreneurship. Defining qualities of effective leadership that a university president should have to lead these objectives that are not currently required was the focus of this Delphi, quantitative, cross-sectional, correlation research survey. This study was organized around an original framework consisting of Transformational, Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation, and Knowledge Hub theories. Opinions of 377 senior KSA educational administrators – presidents, provosts, deans, and department chairs - of 33 Saudi Arabian public universities were gathered to address five research questions and eight research hypotheses. The findings of the study demonstrated that the senior administrators of Saudi Arabia’s public universities are fully aware of the current state of their organizations and what qualities that effective university presidents should be required to have.