Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

David G. Gearhart

Second Committee Member

Suzanne McCray

Keywords

higher education funding, budgeting, college presidents, Oklahoma, fiscal leadership roles

Abstract

Oklahoma public comprehensive university presidents face many challenges. Among the top challenges is the quest for adequate funding of their institutions, including adequate levels of support from state resources. For Oklahoma’s public comprehensive universities and their leaders, the low levels of public support by the state have become a pattern, rather than an anomaly. The statewide reductions in appropriations for higher education funding have had a disproportionate effect on Oklahoma’s public comprehensive universities because they have fewer diversified revenue sources. As a result, Oklahoma public comprehensive university presidents have been forced to become more adept at budgeting, financial management, fundraising, and finding the resources necessary for their institutions to not only be successful, but to simply survive.

The study utilized a transcendental phenomenological research approach. A qualitative research methodology was used to explore the phenomena in a systematic manner. There were seven interview participants who were presidents of public comprehensive universities in the mid-western state of Oklahoma. A structured interview protocol that included open-ended interview questions was used to collect relevant data from interview participants regarding their roles in budgeting, financial management, and fundraising.

Study findings identified eight themes that described the roles of Oklahoma public comprehensive university presidents in budgeting, financial management, and fundraising. The findings illustrated that Oklahoma public comprehensive university presidents spend most of their time on budgeting and financial management, followed closely by fundraising. The study concluded that while they spend most of their time on these areas, few have a background in financial management and fundraising, and most of their experience in these areas was acquired in their previous role prior to becoming president or while on the job.

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