Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

William Boozang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Catherine Gniewek, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Mathew Basham, Ph.D.


The purpose of this single case study was to explore how faculty who transitioned to higher education from industry understand shared governance, how their understanding of shared governance was formed, and how these faculty perceive their involvement in shared governance.

The study was conducted at a small private college located in the Midwest, with a sample size of 14 full-time faculty members who transitioned to higher education from industry. The conceptual framework for this study was based upon the theory of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1991). Data were collected through interviews, demographic surveys, and a review of institutional qualitative data. The data analysis resulted in the emergence of four central themes: a minimal understanding of shared governance, the resources assisting faculty, the factors inhibiting involvement, and the roles of the administration and supervisors. The results indicated that there is a minimal understanding of shared governance by individuals who have transitioned to higher education from industry. Involvement in shared governance is also inhibited in these faculty members by inadequate training methods, the poor communication of expectations, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. However, the faculty expressed internal motivations to become involved in institutional processes but relied upon their colleagues and learning through involvement to gain an understanding of shared governance. These findings can assist administrators and supervisors in establishing the means to communicate faculty expectations adequately and to develop professional development opportunities to train faculty.