Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. David Hoppey

Second Advisor

Dr. Pam Chally

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda Skrla

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


Philanthropy in higher education consists of gifts of financial funding from individuals, alumni, community advocates, parents, private companies, businesses, or foundations, to support a spectrum of items including scholarships, fellowships, academic programs, professorships, research, or development. In the 21st century, most public and private higher education institutions grapple with a philanthropic agenda. Although philanthropy for higher education dates back to the 1630s, it was not until the past few decades more attention was given to academic deans and their role in fundraising. Thus, there is a push for academic deans to work in tandem with the institutional advancement offices to be successful in fundraising to create institutional growth and opportunities. The purpose of this study was to understand the academic deans’ role in fundraising from the perspective of the deans and to gather insights on how to better prepare academic deans for fundraising. Data were collected using a basic qualitative methodology and a series of two semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed via the constant comparative and cross-case methods of data analysis. Findings indicated that academic deans do not receive professional development in fundraising prior to being appointed dean. Therefore, professional development in fundraising is needed before becoming dean and continued during the deanship, so that academic deans can advance their fundraising practice. Academic deans cannot do all of the fundraising alone and they need to build a culture of fundraising with their development officer(s) and faculty. Academic deans are the best people to build and guide donor relationships by practicing patience and active listening while fulfilling the institution’s mission. The discussion includes explication of findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for further research.