Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education/Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

John Saltmarsh

Second Advisor

Judith I. Gill

Third Advisor

Dwight Giles, Jr.


The challenges of managing physical space in public higher education are often left unspoken and under researched. In this multiple case study of three urban universities, decision-making processes are examined with particular attention to who has institutional decision-making authority. Effective and efficient space management is important because the use of space on campus can contribute to research and practice by promoting innovation and collaboration or can isolate individuals and departments in silos. This study identifies three distinct challenges related to space management on campus: the quality of space, the location of space, and the quantity of space. The research findings accentuate the importance of: 1) having a well-defined decision-making process; 2) having knowledgeable decision makers; 3) delegating decision-making authority; and 4) having accurate quantitative and qualitative data to inform decisions.