Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
College of Education and Human Development
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Distance education--United States--Administration; University cooperation; Distance education--Administration; United States
The present study has a three pronged purpose: one, describe how the faculty support policy construct developed by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) exists at four Virtual Colleges and Universities Consortia (VCU). Two, describe how VCUs degree of centralization and emphasis on business practices influences the faculty support policy construct of their respective sampled institutions. Three, search for patterns in policy characteristics across the same four VCUs accounting for their degree of centralization and emphasis on business practices. The study is among the first in-depth qualitative studies to apply SREB's faculty support policy construct to representative VCUs of the Epper and Garn taxonomy, delve into specific details of the faculty support policy construct proposed by SREB, and search for policy patterns among representative VCUs selected for the study. The study provides much needed insight that is currently missing from the literature and that should assist university leaders, policy makers, and faculty in the administration of day-to-day activities at Virtual Colleges and Universities Consortia or academic collaborations. The study design is a multiple-case study. The design facilitated obtaining better insight, description, and discovery of how the faculty support policy construct exists today at the selected VCUs, how the construct influences the operation of each VCU, and if patterns exist in faculty support characteristics among the four institutions. The design encouraged a high level and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon under study, distance learning policy, and the development of general theoretical statements. Data gathering techniques were semi-structured phone interviews and document analysis. Study findings revealed that the SREB faculty support policy construct exists at the four sample institutions with very distinct levels of intensity. Findings also revealed that sampled VCUs degree of centralization and business practice influence some faculty support policies implemented at the sampled higher education institutions. Lastly, findings reveal that patterns exist across higher education institutions in terms of faculty support policies. While some patterns diverge from the Epper and Garn taxonomy most patterns are just expected and consistent across higher education institutions.
MacKenzie, Kathleen A., "Distance education policy : a study of the SREB faculty support policy construct at four virtual college and university consortia." (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2264.