Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Kristen Crossney, PhD

Committee Member

Angela Kline, PhD

Committee Member

Andrew Sustich, PhD


Previous research on social equity performance in the distribution of funding mechanisms across institutions of higher education has found biases in reputation and administrative capacity contributing to peer reviews during the funding process. Further research is now necessary to identify what contributes to these perceived biases and what enables an institution to signal competitiveness to funding sponsors based on the Principal-agent and resource dependency theories. A quantitative analysis was used to analyze data from publicly available datasets to explore relationships between Carnegie Classification rankings, institutional control types of public or private, administrative capacities, and sponsored research and foundation funding levels of institutions. The study population included Carnegie classifications of four-year institutions classified as Doctoral Universities, Master’s Colleges and Universities, Baccalaureate Colleges, and Special Focus Four-Year. Data sources for this study included the Carnegie Classification 2018 Public Data Report, the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development FY2017 Survey, the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems 2016-2017 report, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Voluntary Support of Education FY2016-2017 report. Direct linear relationships were found between both rankings and administrative capacities of institutions and the institution’s funding levels, as well as funding source distribution differing between control types of public or private. Narrowing the gap of funding distribution by better qualifying minority institutions and faculty researchers for funding competitiveness is important to the profession of research administration for social equity performance in sponsored research and foundation funding.