Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership


Dr. Russ Marion

Committee Member

Dr. Patricia First

Committee Member

Dr. Curtis Brewer

Committee Member

Dr. Geary Robinson


Universities, intercollegiate athletic departments and municipalities regularly collaborate to improve their relationship and the atmosphere in which its constituents coexist. Leaders and elected officials within these institutions strive to offer state of the art facilities for their constituents, however financial allocations for these projects are often scarce. Stakeholder relationships, governmental structure, athletic event economic impact claims, citizen involvement and taxation influence university athletic capital improvement project subsidies. The purpose of this study is to investigate how university athletic departments collaborate with municipalities to create legislative policy that subsidizes athletic capital improvement projects while improving both entities.

Theoretical frameworks underlying this study include democracy, institutional, and critical theories. Qualitative methods were utilized to collect data and analyzed with the deployment of the NVivo 10 qualitative data analysis software package. The results showed that a Midwestern university and municipality successfully collaborated to fund intercollegiate capital improvement projects that were made possible by the approval of municipal tax legislation and an intergovernmental agreement. Social change was initiated via effective collaborations between the municipality and the university; however the effective relationships among leaders who were deeply rooted in the community made the plan come to fruition. Citizen knowledge of political processes and the political platforms of their elected officials are essential aspects shaping reality. Positive outcomes realized included economic impacts, municipal project funding, civic pride, support for intercollegiate athletics, increased donor giving, increased recruitment and retention, and long term financial and facility benefits.

The findings from this study suggest multiple possibilities for future research and expand the work of previous researchers in the area of university, intercollegiate athletics and municipal collaborations. The outcome has implications for educational and municipal leaders outlining a comprehensive framework for implementing legislation to collaboratively fund intercollegiate and municipal capital improvement projects.