Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Higher Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Timothy D. Letzring

Second Advisor

Whitney Webb

Third Advisor

Melvin S. Arrington

Relational Format



The purpose of this historical research was to identify and describe distinct conversational circles developing in separate and overlapping decision-making communities during the implementation and enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the study focused on identifying conversational circles that emerged in legislative, judicial, print media, and educational spheres. These Conversational Circles appeared to influence gender equity policy making in college and university athletics throughout the United States. Specific attention in this dissertation was turned to legislative, judicial development and media coverage in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The N.C.A.A. News. Important to this research was the freedom to recognize specific conversational circles and the impact these circles had on expanding the athletic opportunity for women in intercollegiate athletics as historically documented by various court documents, special interest groups' activities and news, higher education policy changes and agency studies. Judicial decisions drove most athletic policy decisions on the state and local level and within district court lines. In October 2002, Title IX was re-named to posthumously honor Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink. Title IX is known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.



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