Year of Publication


Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Marianne Barnes

Second Advisor

Dr. Pamela Chally

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Galloway

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Bill Wilson

College Dean

Dr. Katherine Kasten


The purpose of this study was to determine which factors and the degree to which these factors influenced the Joint Committee when deciding how much money should be allocated to the different services funded by the Ryan White CARE Act. This study focused on the possible explicit and implicit factors influencing the decision-making process and interactions of the members of the HIV/AIDS Joint Prioritization & Allocation Committee in the decisions that were being made on behalf of the people who are infected and affected by this disease.

The methodology included a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, utilizing surveys, coding of communicative behavior, one-on-one interviews and researcher observations. The surveys and interviews were the primary sources of data.

The findings indicated that both explicit and implicit factors influenced decisions. A significant difference was found to exist between clients and committee members for the priority ranking of services. A significant difference also existed between the committee's perception and staffs perception of which factors were most important. The influence that the committee members may have had with one another during discussions was not enough to cause any significant changes in the way they weighed the importance of the factors. The majority of the committee members reported that they relied on recorded data sources such as the needs assessment, epidemiological data, and client utilization of services, rather than their personal experience or HIV status, however this was not totally substantiated by the interviews. Persons living with HIV admitted that their HIV status was a strong factor influencing their decisions. Most participants reported feeling respected and empowered in the surveys, however during the interviews some felt that they were not being listened to adequately. This finding was supported by the interaction analysis.

The results indicated that there is a need for more training and mentoring, particularly for those who are new to the process. Some participants reported there is a need to conduct more business on a joint basis to reduce redundancy and duplication of effort. There is also a need to recognize the importance of the influence of the staff members who provide the committee with the information that is used to make the decisions.