Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Mia Ocean, PhD

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, PhD

Committee Member

Richard Greggory Johnson III, PhD


This dissertation examines the perceptions and impacts of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) academic partnerships with higher education institutions through an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design. The study focuses on academic administrators’ perceptions of these partnerships, assessing how social equity considerations are integrated into recruitment metrics and exploring how these metrics vary across institutions of different sizes, types, and locations. Key findings indicate that while perceptions of the partnership’s effectiveness were mixed, there was a notable emphasis on the potential of these collaborations to enhance workforce diversity and meet public sector needs effectively. Additionally, the research identifies a theoretical framework that aptly characterizes the impact of such partnerships, emphasizing the alignment between academic institutions’ goals and DHS workforce demands. By integrating quantitative data analysis with a qualitative interview and document analysis, this research contributes to the field of public administration by providing evidence-based recommendations for enhancing workforce diversity and developing robust academic-government collaborations. The outcomes underscore the importance of these partnerships in bridging the gap between academia and public sector needs, particularly in fostering a skilled and diverse workforce capable of tackling contemporary challenges.