University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Linda Fraser Jacobsen
M.A.T. in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Bilingual Education, 1981
B.A. in English Literature and Linguistics, 1979, Iowa State University

Examining Institutional Climate in Higher Education: Administering the NILIE-PACE Instrument at a Private University in Central China



The first known campus climate study in central China was conducted by mixed methods, utilizing an instrument called the Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) developed by the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE) at North Carolina State University-Raleigh. Because the North American-normed instrument was administered in China, differences in latent factors and item groupings (loadings) were also studied using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and parallel analysis (PA) to confirm findings. Overall climate scores as well as five latent climate factors were measured and identified; an additional reliability analysis was conducted to confirm the strength of the latent climate variables. Axial coding was conducted on over 800 participant responses to two climate questions. Of the five latent factors that emerged, the strongest negative elements were related to organizational and institutional effectiveness and received the most attention from participants (n = 943), with an alpha coefficient of 0.948, followed by individual workplace communication and cooperation, with an alpha of 0.928. Participant comments with the highest frequencies revolved around low salary, overly rigid regulations, lack of access to information, lack of shared governance and the locus of decision making in both management and academic settings on campus. Most comments aligned with the five latent factors, whether positive or negative.


Date: November 6, 2012

Time: 12:00p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Place:201 Educational Administration Building


Defense of Dissertation Committee


Lloyd I. Richardson, Ph.D. (Advisor)

Natalie A. Bolton, Ph.D.


Cody S. Ding, Ph.D.

Lisa M. Dorner, Ph.D.


Thomas F. George, Ph.D.