Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

B. Lynn Jones


Significant movement is afoot in higher education around a reinvigoration of civic engagement as well as efforts to reform the 'ivory tower' from societal isolation and irrelevance. This movement is based on the assumption that land grant institutions should play a key role in sustaining our democracy and collaborating to solve complex societal problems. Against this backdrop, in February 1999, the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities issued the third of its reports, Returning to Our Roots: The Engaged Institution (NASULGC, 1999), calling for greater institutional engagement with society. Specifically the Commission concluded that it is time to go beyond outreach and service to "engagement." By engagement, the commission refers to "institutions that have redesigned their teaching, research, and extension functions to become even more sympathetically and productively involved with their communities" (NASULGC 1999b, p vii).;In light of the Kellogg Commission report, the purpose of this research project was to assess the organizational structure in order to address leadership issues needed to facilitate the engagement agenda. The purpose of this research project was to use Iowa State Universities College of Agriculture internal stakeholders (faculty, staff and administrators) as a starting point to better understand the process of building and maintaining institutional engagement. The study had three specific objectives: (1) to build and apply a conceptual framework based on organizational adaptation theory, literature and the researcher's experience, (2) to empirically describe, by applying the conceptual framework, how college's of agriculture, build and maintain an engagement agenda; and (3) to seek commonalties across these descriptions that will add in advancing the engagement agenda within other disciplines in higher education. In order to meet the purpose and objective of this study the following research questions were asked: (1) Is there a clear sense of what engagement means among various institutional stakeholders? (2) Do college of agriculture internal stakeholders (faculty, staff and administration) have a clear commitment to the basic idea of engagement? (3) Is there strong support from institutional stakeholders for infusing engagement into the teaching, research and outreach activities of the college of agriculture?



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Michael Devitt Woods



Proquest ID


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File Size

191 pages