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dc.contributor.authorDoyle, Timothy Michael
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation considers the advancement of Emory University towards elite status during the 1980s. Focusing on the period following the reception of a $105 million gift from a foundation controlled by Robert and George Woodruff, the topic traces the strategies employed by Emory’s leadership, principally President James T. Laney. Various resource allocation decisions are investigated in detail within the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences with the goal of enhancing prestige. Similarly, I examine changes to the university’s institutional structure, principally the creation of the Carter Center of Emory University and the closing of the Emory University School of Dentistry, which occurred within this time frame and for the same general reasons of maximizing resources to enhance the university’s profile. These series of decisions occur within the university’s wider history and are placed within the context of the city of Atlanta, since the gift in many ways was intended to enhance the city’s wider reputation. Emory’s advancement mirrors that of the metropolitan area during this same time period, suggesting a correlation between institutional and location reputation, culminating with Emory’s admission into the Association of American Universities in 1994 and Atlanta’s hosting of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. I apply various interpretive frameworks to the narrative events, primarily the concepts of “garbage can” decision making, “striving for prestige” theories and rhetorical analysis. These methodologies reinforce the actual transformation of institutional culture resulting from the adaptive processes that follow the disbursement of the Woodruff gift funds and the associated decision-making process.
dc.subjectEmory University
dc.subjectJames T. Laney
dc.subjectRobert W. Woodruff
dc.subjectacademic prestige
dc.subjectAtlanta higher education
dc.subjectCarter Center
dc.subjectMichael C. Carlos Museum
dc.subjectEmory University School of Dentistry
dc.titleIn pursuit of preeminence
dc.title.alternativethe Woodruff gift and the rise of Emory University’s status, 1980-1994
dc.description.departmentInstitute of Higher Education
dc.description.majorHigher Education
dc.description.advisorCharles Knapp
dc.description.committeeCharles Knapp
dc.description.committeeKaren Webber
dc.description.committeeElisabeth Hughes
dc.description.committeeJames Hearn

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