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. Anne Swanson

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Parkinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Amanda Pascale

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Fred Seamon

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


Researchers contend that higher education organizations and systems, no matter their description (public, private, two-year, or four-year), build society. Nationally, many higher education leaders discuss metrics and measures such as graduation rates, class sizes, intercollegiate athletics, famous alumni, and the extent of community engagement, as important elements of societal influence. However, within public higher education scholarship in Florida, supplier diversity is an under-recognized area. Contrary to the better-known student, faculty, and staff diversity initiatives in Florida’s colleges and universities, diversification of vendor participation for procurement and contracting lacks a systematic focus. Little scholarly knowledge exists regarding the extent to which public universities in general, and Florida particularly, support supplier diversity as part of economic development efforts in communities where they are located. This study contributes to the literature about public university support and implementation of supplier diversity by examining the first program founded within the Florida State University System (SUS) at University of Florida (UF). Also, the study provides insight into whether community and organizational value occurs when supplier diversity initiatives are implemented. Lastly, the study delineates what public leaders can learn from the experiences of supplier diversity leaders at UF in order to create an effective, successful program.