Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Wendi Jenkins


This in-depth single case study examined the implementation process utilized for the consolidation of two public institutions and the participants’ perceptions five years post-consolidation of the extent to which the original expected outcomes of the consolidation have been achieved. The names of the institutions and participants involved in this case study have been replaced with pseudonyms. The case study adopted both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with the qualitative method having more dominance throughout the study. Three primary sources of data were used: semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and field notes. The data collected from all three sources were coded, analyzed and presented based on the study’s conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and research questions. An in-depth analysis of the semi-structured interviews revealed 4 recurring themes: 1) uncertainty and unexpected work load, 2) communication, 3) managing change and culture gaps, and 4) managing geographical challenges. The research also revealed that the perceived underlying rationale for the consolidation was the general need to see greater efficiencies in the organization and delivery of higher education services to the people of Georgia at less cost. The study showed two expected outcomes from the consolidation: fiscal prudency and the creation of a regional university.

The study revealed that the newly consolidated institution has achieved the creation of a regional university but fiscal prudency, among other areas, remain a work in progress. The overall perception of participants five years post-consolidation however, is relatively positive in that, having gone through a tedious consolidation they can now, in hindsight, see some of the benefits/results of the process. Overall, the study did not reveal a step-by- step process or blueprint that was utilized during the consolidation process. The study did however, show several key steps that were taken toward the completion of the consolidation.

While the results of case studies are not typically generalizable, the researcher offered several recommendations to current institutional administrators, system administrators, and highlighted topics for future research that could aid in bridging the gap in literature surrounding higher education mergers (consolidations).