Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

David I. Backer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Peter H. Loedel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patriece Campbell, Ed.D.


Higher education is now globally connected. While a positive development, such connections make international partnerships susceptible to global and regional crises. This study focused on a consortium partnership called the Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development (CHEPD) program. This study examined how international colleagues in China and the United States co-manage partnership challenges using a network approach to social capital theory. Such an approach helps to understand how administrators navigate relational resources by describing the consortium’s network composition. This study used a mixed-methods approach with a social network analysis to supplement the qualitative relational data. The literature shows that personal relationships aid partnership sustainability. However, relational importance is difficult to measure, to justify additional partnership resources. The research findings show the benefit of investing in and understanding how to mobilize social relationships as an instrument for partnership sustainability. International partnership administrators with sustainable relationships will be able to endure future crises.

Keywords: international partnerships, crisis, networks, social capital