Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation identifies and analyzes factors of influence shaping the voting behavior of public state-funded university system board members in the State of Louisiana. The study focuses on university board members voting decisions in budget & finance, academic & student affairs and personnel agenda item issues at their respective board meetings. Eleven (11) factors of influence were from drawn from previous literature on legislative voting behavior. In this study, the factors are referred to as Board member colleagues, Board chairperson, Committee member chairpersons, University constituents (i.e. administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents), Fiscal impact to the University, Governor, Legislature, Media & Research (i.e. personal reading through the internet, books, newsletters, etc…), Non-university community (i.e. Community and/or Business & Industry), Re-appointment to the board, and the System President. The method utilized for this case study was in-depth individual interviews, direct observations, along with surveys to identify the most salient factors of influence on the voting behavior of university board members. A purposeful sampling of twenty-eight (28) surveys and sixteen (16) individual interviews with university board members were conducted in the spring and summer of 2014. Twenty-eight questions were designed from the survey to elicit spontaneous responses from university board members. Findings indicated that fiscal impact on the university, the role of the systems president, the board and committee chairperson and university constituents were considered high factors of influence on the voting behavior of public state-funded university board member voting behavior in the state of Louisiana. This study is the first to examine factors influencing the voting behavior of the public state-funded university board members. A surprising finding revealed that institutional culture of the colleges and universities the board members represented played a significant role in university board members voting behavior.By providing an analysis of Louisiana’s governance structure in higher education, this study broadens the understanding on the voting behavior of public state-funded university board members; as well as provides insight on the present-day vital role governing board members play in shaping higher educational policy on the institutional level and the sustainability of the colleges and universities they serve.



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Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland



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Education Commons