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ERIC Number: ED567463
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 258
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-1484-6
Negotiated Communities: A Stakeholder Approach to Understanding Town-Gown Relations during Periods of Campus Expansion
Lawrence-Hughes, Dorine Lynelle
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
More colleges and universities are expanding to attract more students, to increase their academic standing and to generate revenue. Recent court decisions and negative publicity concerning large university real estate development projects, coupled with the entrenched ambivalence and even distrust that may characterize town-gown relationships, reflect an ongoing tension between universities and their external constituents. This study examines how two universities located urban communities in a Western state obtain government and community approval of campus expansion projects. For the purpose of this study, a "campus expansion plan" or "campus expansion projects" refer to those collective measures taken by higher education institutions to physically expand school facilities through the acquisition and development of real property on and off the university's core campus. This study suggests that stakeholder theory, specifically approaches to stakeholder identification and ways of understanding stakeholder salience, may provide a viable theoretical and practical framework for university managers who engage with both internal and external stakeholders. Specifically, this research relies on a qualitative multiple-case study approach to identify the ways in which universities identify and address stakeholder concerns to obtain both regulatory approval and community acceptance of campus expansion plans. Findings indicate that universities rely on various strategies for obtaining project approval including cultivating political relationships, hosting public hearings and community meetings, designating community liaisons and contributing community benefits. Universities also engage in collaborative planning with regulatory agencies to help mitigate the effects of the project on the environment. The methods employed by university stakeholders to obtain approval of their expansion plans are often dictated by the university stakeholders' perception of stakeholder groups' levels of salience. Those stakeholders deemed to be critical to the university's success during the regulatory approval process appear to warrant more of the university's resources, such as time spent at community meetings, payment of financial compensation, and engagement in long-term collaborative planning. However, the regulatory approval process can be long, and stakeholder salience may not be static. Universities failing to gauge stakeholder salience levels accurately throughout the approval process may find that their strategies for attaining community and government approval are not effective. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A