Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dissertation: Overview

Someone suggested to me that I talk more about my dissertation on my blog - now that the majority of shoveling is done and I have results. So, taking that advice, I'm going to be trying to post twice a week with quotes from my interviews or analyses of my data.

Today, however, I'm simply starting off with a brief description of what my dissertation is. I am studying boards of trustees at small private (American) colleges. More specifically, I'm looking at how they are involved with fundraising. The actual analysis consists of two parts: The first uses data from a survey to attempt to predict how various board characteristics (like percent who are alumni of the college) influence total funds raised from donations. The second consists of data, mostly interviews, from three small colleges in the Southeast. Here, I am less interested in prediction than in the roles the trustees take on in relation to fundraising.

I found several things, some surprising, some known but not the subject of previous strategy, and some utterly unsurprising. I'll be talking about some of those in the weeks to come.

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