Publication Date

Fall 11-29-2021

Document Type

Action research project: USD users only.

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

America’s sector of higher education is undergoing significant change; shifts in social, cultural, and economic realities have challenged existing models and forced new conversations about the purpose and delivery of post-secondary education (McGee, 2015). The type of change institutions need to make to respond, however, is rarely straightforward nor easy to implement (Smith & Blixt, 2015). New research on how colleges change suggests successful change needs to be informed by both theory and organizational culture (Kezar, 2014). However, a systematic approach or process for applying multiple change theories and mapping organizational culture is undefined. So, how does one develop this framework for facilitating change within an unique program and culture? This study explores this question by engaging the theories of change frameworks and organizational cultures of higher education (Kezar, 2014; Bergquist & Pawlak, 2008) through an action research inquiry. It includes three action research cycles that seek to map out the change framework and important dynamics of the Faculty Resident (FR) program in the Department of Residential Life and Housing at Saint John’s University. The FR program is a unique model that frames the work of residential life through the lens of Benedictine pastoral ministry. While the FR program has experienced many decades of stability, it is now faced with dynamics such that its status quo is unstainable and significant change is on the horizon. This research explores how I, as supervisor of the program, created a map and framework for the FR program’s change process and organizational culture.

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