Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Michael Burnett


The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of various lobbying strategies for higher education in state legislatures as perceived by state government relations officers. The target population for the study was defined as individuals currently employed as state government relations officers for public institutions of higher education. Data were collected for this study by surveying government relations officers contacted through the 7th Annual State Relations Conference. The total number of usable responses was 109 (74%) of 147 surveyed from 36 states. The instrument utilized in this study was a researcher designed questionnaire that included a demographic survey to obtain selected characteristics of respondents, their institutions and their legislatures. Respondents used a six point anchored scale to report their perceptions of the importance of roles and responsibilities of state government relations officers, characteristics for success, factors that influence legislators' decisions regarding appropriations to higher education, utilization of and perceived effectiveness of lobbying strategies and factors that influence an institution's decision regarding choice of strategies. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Kendall's Tau and Pearson's Product Moment correlations coefficients, t-tests, one-way ANOVA's, and factor analysis. Findings revealed that the two most effective lobbying strategies were personally presenting arguments to the legislator and having influential constituents contact the legislator. Six of the eight strategies perceived to be the most effective were being used by 92% of the institutions. Two primary constructs were identified in the lobbying strategies effectiveness scale, labeled as providing information and building relationships. Fiscal concerns about the budget and the state's economy were perceived to have the most influence on legislators' decisions regarding appropriations to higher education. Respondents perceived the nature of the policy issue or budget request and the institution's determination of what might work best on the current power structure were most important in determining an institution's choice of lobbying strategies. The researcher recommended that university officials develop a comprehensive state relations plan for increasing appropriations to higher education, incorporating the most effective lobbying strategies. The researcher further recommended establishing and implementing a grassroots advocacy network and forming coalitions with organized business groups.