Date of Award



© 2019 Evelyn J. Thomas

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Laura Bertonazzi

Third Advisor

James Goldsworthy


In this qualitative study, the researcher explored the perceptions of select faculty who were experiencing their university’s sale of their college to another academic entity, and to whom accurate levels organizational turbulence might not have been fully communicated prior to significant institutional change. Communicating levels of organizational turbulence is an important factor, and it is a necessary first step in transformational change. Members’ prior perceptions of organizational turbulence could affect their willingness to accept and progress through a substantive change plan. In this study, the researcher used turbulence theory as a conceptual framework to explore the level of foreknowledge of select faculty stakeholders at a college whose university was in the process of a significant change plan. The researcher used semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with 10 faculty stakeholders who were employed by the college. The study’s results indicated that 1) faculty stakeholders were largely unaware of the high level of turbulence the university was experiencing prior to the announcement of what was ultimately a sizable change plan; 2) emotional change responses of faculty participants ranged from disappointment, sadness, and hurt, to anger and rage; and 3) the participants viewed university administrators as lacking transparency during the change. These results significantly aligned with literature on change and emotional change responses.


Ed.D. Dissertation