Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




This dissertation was written to examine the hypothesis that, although there were numerous factors affecting the selection of a site, it was primarily a financial decision to maintain the urban environment of the former Richmond Professional Institute campus as the basis of the new Academic Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Other factors involved in the decision include political, historical, social and academic ones.;The political factor involved a division between the City of Richmond and the County of Henrico as to the location of the Academic Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Senator William F. Parkerson, Jr., of Henrico County fought hard to win the political plum of a new university in his district located on the Elko Tract. The City of Richmond succeeded in its attempts to have the Academic Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University remain on the existing site of the Richmond Professional Institute.;Historically, the Richmond Professional Institute had always been closely bound to the City of Richmond, was named after the city, had drawn heavily upon the resources of the city for its adjunct faculty and related resources, and its student population was generally associated with the City of Richmond. The Elko Tract had no such historical ties to demand a change from urban to rural.;Social benefits associated with the Richmond Professional Institute site include the ready accessibility to business centers for student employment. No indication is given that a change in location would have preserved these social benefits which were possible by maintaining the status quo.;The major academic factor was that of an urban university which would use the city as an academic laboratory. From its inception as a school of social work, the Richmond Professional Institute had been closely tied to the urban setting.;The need to combine two distinct institutions into one new university was another significant academic factor. The proximity of the two campuses was important for students and faculty to cross campus lines and take or teach classes on both campuses.;Financial factors were the ultimate determinants of site selection. The value of the existing physical plant, regardless of condition, of the Richmond Professional Institute could not be ignored. The cost of creating a new and expensive campus was far outweighed by the benefit to be derived from using the existing one as a base for beginning a new university.



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