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The dual role of public university administrator and executive of an institutionally -related foundation: A multiple case study

J. Bradford Hodson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the dual role of public university administrator and chief executive of a private, institutionally-related foundation and to discover how individuals who serve in these roles are impacted by this dual status. The grand tour question was: How do individuals bridge the dual role of public university administrator and chief executive of an institutionally-related foundation? Sub-questions were: What were participants' experiences serving in the dual role? How do individuals describe the dual role? How do they react to challenges of the dual role? What were the benefits and drawbacks of the dual role? Study participants were 15 individuals who served as public university administrators and executives of institutionally-related foundations from institutions with at least $25 million in foundation assets, a student population of at least 5,000 students, at the vice presidential level. Data were collected through personal interviews with each participant. ^ Analysis of the interviews was conducted using open coding. Five propositions emerged from the study: (1) If an institutionally-related foundation lacks the financial and/or organizational maturity to be independent from its host institution, then the dual role is a valuable and appropriate organizational structure. (2) A decision by both the university and the institutionally-related foundation to maintain the dual role is not permanent. If the dual role is to be vital and relevant to their operations, then a periodic review of the role's effectiveness is essential. (3) To be successful in the dual role, one must build a relationship with the university president and the foundation board based on trust and candor. (4) If the institution's president understands not only the dual role, but also the mission, purpose, and responsibilities of the foundation, then the president will be invaluable to the individual serving in the dual role. (5) An up-to-date operating agreement between the university and the foundation is critical to the success of the individual in the dual role. ^

Subject Area

Education, Finance|Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Hodson, J. Bradford, "The dual role of public university administrator and executive of an institutionally -related foundation: A multiple case study" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3201771.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3201771

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