Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Higher Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Amy E. Wells Dolan

Second Advisor

Marc Showalter

Third Advisor

K. B. Melear

Relational Format



Tragic shootings in classrooms on the campuses of Virginia Tech (2007), Louisiana Technical College (2008), and Northern Illinois University (2008) where 39 students and faculty members lost their lives shattered perceptions of the college campus as a safe haven (Dungy & Roberts, 2010), brought heightened awareness to the decade-long increase of students with "severe mental health issues" enrolled in postsecondary education (Goldrick-Rab & Cook, 2011), and became a "tipping point" for new resource allocations for violence prevention in higher education (Dunkle, 2009). Following The Virginia Tech Panel Review (2007), threat assessment and management teams (TAMTs) became an intervention of choice. As a result, I have chosen to explore the effectiveness of a TAMT through the eyes of individuals who developed higher education and are invested in student success, faculty members. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore faculty perceptions of the college and university TAMT as a model of intra-organizational collaboration between academic and student affairs units at one southeastern public research institution. There were two central research questions explored: 1. How do faculty members experience the TAMT as a model of collaborative practice between academic and student affairs? 2. What practices have emerged to better educate and involve faculty in TAMTs? Nineteen one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted which included three TAMT administrators, nine faculty members, and seven academic administrators who referred or aided in the referral of a student to the TAMT. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) "Collaboration at Big University ", (b) "I Didn't Grasp TAMT at First", and (c)" It Takes a Village So Count Me In". Although the TAMT at Big University (BU) facilitated the development of an effective process to report questionable student behavior, the TAMT was not an example of intra-organizational collaboration because authentic collaboration had not be been achieved. While the divisions were able to work cooperatively, they did not share decision making or accountability.



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