Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communications Media

First Advisor

Mary Beth Leidman, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

B. Gail Wilson, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Robert E. Millward, Ed.D.


Technological innovation, changing learner demographics and demands, and an increasingly competitive education market are forcing post-secondary institutions to consider distance education among their offerings. Building the institutional capacity for distance education requires administrators, including provosts, to apply effective strategies in institutional distance education initiatives. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to determine faculty perceptions of specific strategies used by their provosts in planning and implementing distance education initiatives. The researcher surveyed full-time tenure-track faculty in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education regarding their provosts' application of strategies in the provision of vision, technology, support, and compensation. While previous research has highlighted the importance of provosts in the success of distance education initiatives, this study suggests that the provosts may not be influential in the development of distance initiatives. Comparisons among the perceptions of faculty perceptions at institutions with low, moderate, and high levels of distance education implementation showed little variation toward the provosts' use of the selected strategies. Furthermore, results suggest an absence of clear leadership in the development distance education initiatives.