Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Mia Ocean, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Davis, Ph.D.


With limited research exploring the relationship between due process and misconduct processes at community colleges, this research allowed the voices of the practitioners administering misconduct policies to be heard and assist in creating consistent, meaningful practices for their community college campuses. This study explored community college student conduct administrators’ perceptions on the fairness, equity, and due process standards in the academic misconduct policies compared to their campuses’ policies for student misconduct.

This mixed-methods approach surveyed student conduct officers and allowed them to provide narrative responses to justify their beliefs. The data was coded using concepts specific to Principal-Agent Theory and due process. Principal-Agent Theory was selected as the constant because of the relational and contractual elements, mixed with the bureaucratic processes that can be found in both the field of higher education administration and the field of public administration.

From the analysis of the participants’ responses, two main themes emerged. The first theme shows that combined efforts to manage misconduct between the academic and student affairs processes provide higher due process for students alleged to have violated academic misconduct processes. The second theme shows that the practitioner’s perception of due process afforded to students under these policies is higher than the reality of the practice. Based on the themes and research questions, recommendations for practice were made, as well as for future research or study to ensure adequate due process standards are provided to community college students as they navigate both the academic misconduct and student conduct processes.