Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Management (DMgt)

First Advisor

Rosa M. Colon-Kolacko, PhD, MBA, CDM, SHRM-SCP

Second Advisor

Elliot Cole, PhD

Third Advisor

Geoffrey Garrett, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Victoria Mulhern


This research study offers a better understanding on the role of faculty when they are given managerial/leadership roles beyond their teaching and research duties. It focuses on why faculty members accept initial roles with a university; how they become faculty managers; how they are transitioned into faculty management roles; what challenges are with having faculty managers in the role; how the concept of academic freedom/empowerment plays a role in challenges of faculty managers; and how university leadership can respond to, support, and prepare faculty managers to be successful in these administrative roles. To better understand faculty managers, the researcher conducted sixty qualitative in-person interviews with participants, both on the administrative and faculty management side of higher education institutions. The researcher found many faculty managers went into their initial roles in higher education to teach or conduct research and many went into their roles as faculty mangers not of their choosing but because they were next in line or strongly encouraged to do so. Few faculty managers received on the job training to prepare them for their management roles. This project is important because a gap exists in research concerning the topic of faculty mangers and it will provide insight from 65 (43 faculty managers and 22 non-faculty managers in administrative roles) people from small to large institutions who have firsthand experience with this situation. The study will provide a framework for training, mentoring, and onboarding for key decision makers and faculty managers in universities, thereby offering a means to alleviate this problem.


A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership