Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Suzanne McCray

Second Committee Member

John W. Murry, Jr.


Future, Higher Education, Presidents, Public, Qualitative, United States


The purpose for conducting the study was to identify how Very High Research university senior leaders at public institutions in the United States described their vision of the future of higher education over the next 25 years. Specifically, the study provided an opportunity for university chancellors and presidents to describe their versions of what the future holds for higher education and how they are preparing for that future. A vision for the future included senior leader’s perspectives on three elements of the university: the university’s mission and purpose, academics, and student services. Their experience in higher education combined with their place in the hierarchy of the postsecondary system gave them a more complete perspective to understand the macro picture of where they have been, where they are, and where they might be going. Contemplating where higher education is moving is critical to its success (Cornish, 2004). The study used the framework of Future Studies to structure this exploration. Using phenomenography, the study provided an opportunity for the participants to articulate their vision and how they are preparing for the future. The study focused on the participants collective vision of the future thereby necessitating the need for the phenomenographic method. The acceleration of change from advancements in technology along with economic and health issues like Covid-19 brought the continued need to explore the future, and the field of higher education is no exception.