Leadership in Higher Education Option: Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education

Oregon State University's Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Adult and Higher Education degree program with an option in leadership in higher education (LHE) is designed for working professionals who aspire to be educational leaders at four-year colleges and universities.

You will critically analyze the latest research from a variety of perspectives, and learn how to apply data-driven evidence and proven practices to meet the changing needs of four-year higher education institutions. You will develop these learning outcomes and competencies:

Higher education leader

An effective leader in higher education understands the history of higher education and how it relates to the critical issues facing academia today and is an advocate for the mission of the college or university and the multiple programs and services that are provided.

  • Articulate and promote core beliefs relative to the mission of higher education
  • Build and leverage networks and partnerships to advance the mission, vision and goals of higher education
  • Advance access, student success, employees, programs and services and resources
  • Influence, develop and implement educational policy related to the primary mission areas of public and private colleges, and universities
  • Create and maintain open communications regarding resources, priorities and expectations
  • Promote and demonstrate the value of diversity, multiculturalism and social justice
  • Recognize proven leadership and management strategies for successfully managing diverse and complex organizations

Lifelong researcher

A lifelong researcher in higher education examines critical issues and develops alternatives utilizing data-driven evidence and proven practices, utilizes internal and external data sources, and collaborates with internal and external stakeholders in a scholarly manner.

  • Examine critical issues facing education systematically and identify an area of scholarship expanding the knowledge base related to higher education organizations, practice and outcome
  • Critically analyze scholarly studies from a variety of research perspectives
  • Design, conduct and report scholarly work
  • Use assessment, evaluation, and research data to inform practice and administrative decisions
  • Utilize current research to address domestic and international issues in higher education

Organizational strategist

An effective leader in higher education uses a systems perspective to understand organizational cultures, structures, and functions and is able to create a positive environment that supports innovation, teamwork, and successful outcomes.

  • Think systematically about organizational cultures, structures and functions
  • Use a systems perspective to assess and respond to the culture of the college or system of higher education; to changing demographics; and the economic, political and social needs of students and the community
  • Assess, develop, implement, and evaluate strategies regularly to monitor and improve the quality of higher education and the long-term health of the college or university
  • Use data-driven evidence and proven practices from internal and external stakeholders to solve problems, make decisions and plan strategically.
  • Develop a positive environment supporting innovation, teamwork and successful outcomes
  • Align organizational mission, structures, and resources with the college master plan

Resource manager

A competent leader in higher education demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the complex financial realities of higher education by acting as an effective steward of institutional resources, developing and managing financial strategies supporting programs, services, staff and facilities, and engaging with external constituents to seek and understand all fiscal, personnel, and program alternatives.

  • Develop and manage resource assessment, planning, and budgeting consistent with college priorities and local, state and national policies
  • Support operational decisions by managing information resources and ensuring the integrity and integration of reporting systems and databases
  • Utilize an entrepreneurial stance in seeking ethical alternative funding sources
  • Implement a human resources system that includes recruitment, hiring, reward, and performance management systems, and that fosters the professional development and advancement of all staff
  • Manage conflict and change associated with resource allocation and institutional priorities which contribute to the long-term viability of the organization

Advocate for instructional quality and learning

A higher education leader understands the strengths and weaknesses of different curriculum designs and instructional models and understands the latest learning theories and instructional strategies.

  • Support the design of academic programs and courses from an articulated theoretical framework, including clear, coherent pathways
  • Promote learning experiences for all students/staff consistent with high rates of student success and positive student outcomes
  • Integrate diverse “ways of knowing” from a global perspective to enhance learning for all individuals
  • Develop a climate of collective responsibility for instructional and institutional quality
  • Develop a culture in which all academic and nonacademic communities are encouraged to collaboratively promote student learning outcomes
  • Provide competent oversight to instructional and student services programs, including informed program evaluation and review

Professional leader

A professional higher education leader demonstrates integrity and honesty and works ethically to set high standards for self and others, continually improves self and surroundings, and is accountable to the institution, staff, and the community.

  • Exhibit proficiency in higher education law and incorporate professional ethics into all decision making responsibilities and processes
  • Provide leadership that is consistent with articulated professional principles
  • Support lifelong learning for self and others
  • Manage stress through self-care, balance, adaptability, flexibility and humor
  • Transcend personal belief systems, seeking and understanding multiple and diverse perspectives; link personal belief systems to scholarly literature
  • Self-assess performance regularly using feedback, reflection, goal-setting and evaluation
  • Reinforce the principles of social justice and honor diversity as a role model and educational leader within the institution or system and within the broader community

These learning outcomes can be met through professional work experience, formal educational study or other learning experiences.  You will provide evidence of achieving these outcomes through successful completion of a program of study, written exam, completion of an oral preliminary examination, and production and defense of a dissertation.

There is a Ph.D. Option with limited enrollment in LHE.  Applicants interested in pursuing this option are encouraged to contact Joe Johnson at 541-737-3574 or email joe.johnson@oregonstate.edu.

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