Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education, Leadership, Research, and Counseling

Document Type




The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore institutional crisis leadership during a global pandemic in the athletic departments of five mid-major universities located in the Midwest United States, including Blue University, Red University, Green University, Orange University, and Purple University. This study examined the leadership response and decisions surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic. Research leaders consisted of members of the university’s executive leadership team and the athletic departments senior staffs.

I have gathered data in one-on-one, in person and virtual interviews with each member of the executive teams and gained insight and understanding of their leadership experiences during a time of crisis. There are various studies examining leadership within college athletics (Klimoski & Koles, 2001; Robbins, 2003; Kuhnert & Lewis, 1987; Bryman, 1992; Doherty, 1997; Bass 1985; & Price & Weiss, 2013; and Price & Wiess, 2011); however, there is limited research covering leadership during a crisis. For mid-major universities there is no room for waste, and leadership is crucial in making necessary decisions for progression. The result of this research has assisted in providing insight and understanding to the process of decisions making, implementation, and execution by the universities executive leaders in crisis situations.

Keywords: Athletic Administration, COVID 19, Crisis Management, Executive Leadership Team



Committee Chair

Blanchard, Joy