Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Megan Nolan, Ph.D.


This qualitative embedded single-case study explores admissions employees’ perceptions of departmental success and individual employee well-being, including the role emotional intelligence has on these outcomes, through the lens of Bolman and Deal’s Four Frame Model (1984). This study is necessary because of the turbulent higher education landscape and because social factors contributing to this turbulence are expected to stay the same. More specifically, this study is situated in a thriving Office of First-Year Admissions at an institution within a public university system in a rural setting experiencing an unstable organizational landscape. I interviewed sixteen employees in a successful mid-size public university’s enrollment management division. In addition, I conducted two days of observation. Three themes related to employee well-being emerged from the one-on-one semi-structured interviews and observation hours: contributions to success, professional development, and work-life balance. Regarding perceptions of emotional intelligence on success and employee well-being, participants emphasized empathy when referring to other staff members and the students they serve. Bolman and Deal’s Four Frame Model (1984) guides this study, emphasizing the model’s structural and human resource frames. This qualitative study adds to the limited literature focused on the obstacles experienced by admissions professionals today and provides enrollment leaders with an example of success to emulate. This study emphasizes the value of investing in the well-being of employees and the positive impact emotional intelligence has on the success of an institution.