Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

12-14-2012

Graduate Advisor

Lloyd I. Richardson, PhD.

Committee

Phyllis A. Balcerzak, Ph.D.

Cody S. Ding

Lisa M. Dorner

Thomas F. George

Abstract

The first known campus climate study in central China was conducted for purposes of formative assessment by mixed methods, utilizing an instrument called the Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) developed by the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE) at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Surveys were translated into Mandarin and distributed in bilingual format to 1,170 campus employees at Central China University (a pseudonym) in Henan Province, and 945 surveys were returned, a rate of 80.8%. Participants who self-identified included both Chinese and foreign faculty, administrators and staff. Because the North American-normed instrument was administered in China, differences in latent factors and item groupings (loadings) were also studied using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and parallel analysis (PA) to confirm findings. Overall climate scores as well as five latent climate factors were measured and identified, and a reliability analysis was conducted on the five latent climate variables. Axial coding of over 800 participant responses to two open-ended questions was also conducted. Of the five latent factors that emerged, elements related to organizational and institutional effectiveness received the most attention from participants (n = 943), with an alpha coefficient of 0.948, followed by individual workplace communication and cooperation, with an alpha of 0.928. Participant comments with the highest frequencies revolved around low salary, overly rigid regulations, a beautiful campus, lack of access to information, lack of shared governance and the locus of decision making in both management and academic settings on campus. Foreign faculty raised campus communication issues that resulted in a sense of cultural isolation, while the Chinese faculty overall identified a lack of further training and learning opportunities and limited input on curriculum, testing and grading decisions. Both Chinese and foreign faculty were concerned about issues surrounding academic integrity and honesty. Administrators were most concerned with a lack of cooperation and communication between departments and inconsistent policies.

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