Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Chair/Advisor

Michelle Boettcher

Committee Member

Tony Cawthon

Committee Member

Eliza Gallagher

Committee Member

Kristin Walker-Donnelly


This research addresses future challenges for land-grant universities and calls on administrators to look beyond short-term strategic planning. Chapter One frames the research problem and presents a brief history of U.S. higher education defined by disruption and evolution. Statistical models provide a basis to identify future challenges for land-grant universities. I then propose to address those challenges by investigating University Industry Partnerships (UIP), increasing research productivity, and fostering sense of belonging for part-time graduate students. I use a systematic literature review of UIP structuring practices to reveal how UIPs are structured by time, personnel, and flexible horizontal organizational structures. I then use hermeneutical interpretative policy analysis to examine university research policies and research productivity. Findings from this policy analysis indicate institutional policies can positively influence research productivity when accompanied by investment in support and coordinated communication; consequences of institutional research policies are priorities are also addressed. Finally, I conducted a quantitative study to examine sense of belonging for part-time graduate students. Data analysis suggests existing measures of SB may need revision to accurately capture SB for part-time students. Findings indicate that positive academic outcomes are associated with higher levels of SB for part-time graduate students.

Author ORCID Identifier




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