Date of Graduation

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

John W. Murry, Jr.

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Keywords

Capital Campaign, Fundraising, Higher Education, Leadership, Trustees

Abstract

The changing financial environment of public universities includes competing priorities for state funding. In today's economy, state appropriations for higher education do not always keep pace with institutional need. During periods of declining state revenue, universities endure budget cuts reducing state funding. When tuition dollars cannot be increased further and state appropriations are decreased or flat, public university administrators rely on fundraising to meet their mission, goals, and vision for their institutions. The fundraising program believed to produce the greatest results is a capital campaign. Large and ambitious capital campaigns can help institutions of higher education respond to decreases in state funding, while allowing for institutional growth. A successful comprehensive capital campaign can transform an institution of higher education. However, capital campaigns require strong leadership and teamwork, and goals can be challenging to reach during times of economic hardship. In addition, a capital campaign needs the full support of the board of trustees, system president, and campus chancellor, who recognize that the campaign will be the focus of the campus for five to eight years.

The purpose of this qualitative and intrinsic single case study was to explore and enhance understanding of trustee members' roles, views, and experiences during the University of Arkansas's highly successful capital campaign, Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, which concluded in 2005 and raised over $1 billion. Twelve knowledgeable and prominent leaders of the University of Arkansas and its Campaign for the Twenty-First Century were interviewed for this study. The campus chancellor, campaign steering committee members, and the senior advancement leaders strongly influence fundraising outcomes. The role of public university trustees in a capital campaign has not received much attention in the literature, although, the role of the president has. The role of trustees in a capital campaign for a private university is straightforward because the trustees are selected in large part for their fundraising abilities; however, the role of trustees in fundraising becomes more complicated for public universities that are part of a multicampus system.

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