Organization Development



Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Alla Heorhiadi

Second Advisor

John Conbere

Third Advisor

Cheryl Maplethorpe


Higher education in America is at a crossroads with questions about the value and validity of higher education, shifting markets of students, tumultuous economic times, governmental regulations, demands for increased service and delivery modes, and new for-profit institutions joining the market. This was an interpretive case study seeking to understand what makes an institution of higher education resilient. The study site was Olympic University which is a private, non-profit institution located in the Midwest region of the United States. Interviews were conducted with 19 participants including students, staff, faculty, and administrators at Olympic University. Stories were told by the participants who described a rich history of the institution as well as the profession of the founders. There were four major themes that emerged including the foundations for resilience at Olympic University, success factors which contribute to the resilience at Olympic University, elements that distinguish Olympic University from other institutions of higher education, and the components necessary to sustain current and ensure future resilience at Olympic University. While this may not be applicable to other institutions, this study affirms that higher education institutions are in major flux with competing priorities for limited resources both internally and externally. The need to examine, understand, and support higher education has never been more pressing in the United States. Therefore, the study of resilience will continue to be important. This study provided a glimpse into some of the key issues.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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