Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Urban universities and colleges as anchor institutions: An examination of institutional management practices
by Harriel, Holly Elizabeth, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2015, 183; 3721038
Abstract (Summary)

In the last twenty years, anchor institutions such as universities and academic medical centers have been addressing societal problems in building a more democratic, just, and equitable society (Taylor, 2013). Anchor institutions are those nonprofit or corporate entities that, by reason of mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers or employees, are geographically tied to a certain location (Porter, 2002; Taylor, 2013).

This study sought to understand what organizational capacity is needed by urban universities in order to undertake large-scale neighborhood revitalization efforts. This study used qualitative research methods to examine the University of Chicago’s Washington Park Incubator project, established in 2011, and Johns Hopkins University’s East Baltimore Development Initiative, established in 2001. Through 22 interviews with executive and senior university officials, leaders of community-based organizations and neighborhood residents, this study sought to answer two research questions: What strategies do anchor institutions use to seed, support and sustain their anchor initiatives? What are the barriers or complexities to forming sustainable agreements and cohesion around partnership collaboration?

This study found that IHE anchors use three critical strategies to sustain their work: the role and actions of a university’s president, the role of the board of trustees, and the use of community boundary spanners as leaders of partnerships. A major barrier to sustainability and a primary challenge to achieving cohesive partnership agreements with partners is historical mistrust. The findings were situated within a university real estate investment model (Austrian & Norton, 2005), an engaged institutions leadership model (Sandmann & Plater, 2009), and a framework for community boundary spanners (Weerts & Sandmann, 2010) to explain how these models impact the sustainability of IHE anchor initiatives.

Conclusions drawn from this study will equip urban college and university executive and senior leaders and operational administrators as well as community leaders with insight into how to sustain anchor institution partnerships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hartley, J. Matthew
Commitee: Maurrasse, David, Moneta, Lawrence
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Public policy, Urban planning
Keywords: Anchor institutions, Boundary spanner, Historical mistrust, Neighborhood revitalization, University community partnership, Urban universities
Publication Number: 3721038
ISBN: 9781339022239
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