Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Delmus Williams


The relationship between a college and its founding church changed as the college developed its liberal arts programs and leaders sought to create an independent new culture from the church. Using Clark's organizational saga framework, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of culture change on this institution. The research questions examined strategies that leaders used to transition the campus to its new reality. A formative, qualitative, process-oriented evaluation was used to collect interview data from 22 institutional leaders and other key stakeholders; data were also collected from institutional documents. The data were then coded and analyzed and themes were developed that led to reported outcomes. The results indicated that the institutional identity of the institution is still in transition and cannot be fully defined until the new culture is firmly established. The results also indicated the importance of strong institutional leadership that is prepared to include stakeholders in implementing and sustaining change. Stakeholders provided the following recommendations to solidify the culture change and the identity: maintain community, receive consistent communication, apply institutional dialogue in decision making, continue momentum and maintain balance, and engage the external community. Social benefits from the study include the students themselves, who benefit from an improved institutional culture that leads to better opportunities for educational engagement. These opportunities increase knowledge retention and produce more productive members of society who better influence societal change after graduation. The results of the study are being reported to campus leadership for their use in the continuing development of campus culture.