Date of Award

Winter 11-22-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Bill Boozang, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Butcher, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Matthew Basham, Ph.D.


Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) authority has evolved from nearly absolute power in the hands of colleges and universities to an approach more focused on individual students and their rights. Yet, while college authority over campus life and student conduct has diminished, the duty of care required in the form of additional student affairs services has increased. The history of the complicated relationship between students and IHE starts with the concept “in loco parentis,” which is Latin for “in place of parents.” A lack of proper and continued risk assessment and a lack of effective and manageable policies and procedures assessment in relation to duty of care can lead to lawsuits, court-mandated change, and worse—student harm. Given the complexities and the challenges of managing today’s higher education institutions, leaders must be willing to adopt new leadership practices to be able to respond to a quick-changing environment to preserve internal decision-making and avoiding the dictation of policy by external entities. The study will utilize a qualitative research method to examine the experiences of nine community college leaders in the state of Washington. A main theme that emerged was shifting campus cultures and demographics that necessitates thorough evaluation of IHR policies and procedures. The participants provided insight and recommendations for institutional alignment with current law, trends, and best practices.