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ERIC Number: ED548667
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-3443-5
Public Higher Education Fundraising: Selected Florida University Leaders' Perceptions of Influences of Large Gifts
Herley, Wade Thomas
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
State support for colleges and universities has been in decline since the 1970s. Institutions of higher learning have been forced to rely increasingly on private gifts to balance their budgets. The private gifts are managed by each school's foundation, a separate non-profit entity that exists to raise money for its respective institution. The private sector has been funding an increasing percentage of budgets for public schools as state funding has diminished. Private funding is supporting more of the budget than any time in history for most public schools. This study focused on the perceived influence of large private donors. This phenomenological study analyzed interviews given by five participants who work at four different institutions of higher learning in the Florida public school system. These five participants were interviewed in separate face-to-face sessions of 45 minutes to one hour. All participants were presidents or top leaders of institutional foundations. The researcher used notes to collect data during the interviews. The researcher analyzed the data for emerging topics and themes. Three topics emerged from the interviews--communication, leadership, and alignment. The data collected from the five participants revealed a clear pattern of these topics. Communication encompasses underlying subcategories such as lines of communication, interpersonal communication, interdepartmental communication, department-to-department communication, institution-wide communication, donor-to-school communication, and school-to-donor communication. There are many opportunities for communications to fail. The importance of clear communications was apparent in each and every interview. Leadership sets the direction for the institution. The board of trustees sets the direction, the goals, the mission, the identity, and the practices. They choose a president to implement those initiatives. The leadership must be actively involved and engaged with the institution to ensure the mission and direction is maintained. Alignment of an institution's resources is crucial for efficient and effective operation. The board of trustees needs to be closely aligned and in agreement on the direction the institution should take. Everyone involved with the institution, from the board of trustees to the faculty and staff, need to be aligned with the institutional mission. The mission and goals keep the resources focused on the chosen destination. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida