Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher

Third Advisor

Paul Michalec

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Martinez


Case study, Change, Community based research, Denver, Hispanic serving, Urban


Many higher education organizations face the issue of structural isolation (Ruben, 2004) based on a lack of integration and functional coordination between faculty, staff, and students. Community-based research (CBR) offers higher education a more collaborative, wider reaching avenue of organizing a variety of stakeholders around social change. The CBR model is an atypical change model due to its interdisciplinary, participatory, and collaborative structure that values multiple sources of knowledge and focuses on social justice action. As opposed to serving as the 'experts' who were performing research on a community of people, academics and community members who utilize CBR focus on the importance of co-learning, capacity building, findings to benefit all partners, and a long-term commitment to reduce social disparities. Taken in the context of higher education, CBR allows students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to work together as partners around areas that involve social justice issues.

This dissertation highlights an instrumental case study that took place between 2006-2012 involving an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution and its effort to use principles similar to those found in CBR around organizational change. Themes that were identified in the study include cynicism/fear, sustainability, participatory action, commitment to social justice, transparency, and interdisciplinary spirit.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Eric Dunker


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

185 p.


Higher education, Organizational behavior