Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

John Elmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline Hodes, Ed.D.


Higher education, once a public good, has undergone a period of systemic divestment. The business model of the university, perpetuated by neoliberalism, has changed the values of higher education. Traditionally, the core mission of higher education created critically-engaged citizens who sought to democratize society. In its current state, higher education has lost its status as a public good that benefited all of society. The liberal arts can reinvigorate higher education by reengaging students through contemplative methods. Student affairs educators live in a world of limited budgets and neoliberal practices. The connection of neoliberalism to their work in student affairs will serve as a path forward for resisting corporate practices in the university. Transformative leadership will propel anti-neoliberal practices and policies into the inner workings of the university.