Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Pamela Eddy

Committee Member

James Stronge

Committee Member

Guru Ghosh


In response to public sector criticism, higher education reform in Ecuador over the past decade has created a nation-wide transformation of faculty roles. The literature from researchers in Ecuador concerning reform and the role of faculty discusses the desired impact of these new expectations; however, very little is known regarding the substantive reality of faculty navigating new roles and work. This study explored faculty sense making of national reforms relating to their role and work at universities and sought to understand how faculty are navigating both policy and implementation of new work expectations ten years after government top-down reform efforts. The qualitative, cross-case comparison was framed through the perspective of the model of policy reaction. Interviews were conducted with 15 full-time Ecuadorian faculty participants representing hard and social sciences from five case universities located throughout the country. Data analysis resulted in five major findings: a) faculty negotiating uncertainty around work expectations and policy implementation; b) faculty building networks in order to meet expectations and develop research capacity; c) faculty understanding practices to legitimize their work as distrustful and inefficient; d) faculty perceiving policies as constraints to their academic autonomy, and; e) faculty making sense of themselves as a transitional generation building capacity and sustainability for future university stakeholders. The findings for this study will assist future policy-makers and university authorities in planning and managing change efforts to ensure that faculty stakeholders are involved in the policy-making and implementation processes.




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