Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Arthur L. Walton, Jr.

Second Supervisor

Dianne Cooney Miner


The purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was to examine the role of academic deans in entrepreneurial activity in upstate New York independent colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are facing difficult economic times which can place financial pressure on leaders in colleges and universities to seek out alternate funding sources through entrepreneurial endeavors. Academic deans are in a vital leadership position to engage in revenue generating activities when faced with limited resources. The quantitative results of this study suggest that academic deans’ self-perceived entrepreneurial orientation decreased the longer they are in their position. The quantitative results also suggest that some academic deans who were expected to engage in entrepreneurial activities, as part of their job description, have a higher self-perceived entrepreneurial orientation. The themes that emerged from the qualitative found that the collective accountability of academic deans and their skills in collaborative relationship building may impact their ability to engage and develop entrepreneurial activities. This study offered practical knowledge to academic leaders in higher education by identifying a new conceptual approach of a process on how academic deans can create new revenue sources for their institution. Several recommendations were described to assist institutions in reducing financial challenges, such as adopting a de-centralized budget model and developing a reward structure for entrepreneurial academic deans.

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