Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; Robert L. Infantino, EdD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD


California, community colleges, budget cuts, higher education, history, Leadership studies, nursing faculty, political behavior, qualitative


This study explored the political behavior of community college nursing faculties during a unique period of California history, 1982-87, when the community colleges were struggling to adapt to the economic and political consequences of Proposition 13. Using a two-phase qualitative design, it examined the effects of budget cutbacks on the nursing programs at 38 community colleges statewide, including twelve targeted for faculty layoffs, and identified the political behavior of their nursing faculties in response. It then focused on six districts, varying in size, structure, and location, for a series of in-depth case studies. In four districts, nursing programs were targeted for closure or downsizing; in two, they were not. Surveys, telephone interviews, and document review were the primary research tools. The results showed that most faculties accommodated to across-the-board cutbacks, but opposed and resisted selective termination, generally regarded as a crisis situation. One political benefit of accommodating was that little new behavior was required and faculties could remain focused on their primary value, clinical teachings. Efforts to alter college budget policy, on the other hand, required a level of governance participation to which few faculties were willing to commit, absent a crisis. The faculties targeted for layoffs orchestrated anti-termination campaigns to prevent the enactment or reduce the scope of the policy proposed.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access