Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to both identify and analyze those major political factors which had a significant impact on the establishment and growth of Richard Bland College. The study was also designed to record a significant period in the history of a two-year branch college and to provide insight into the political nature and developments of a changing Southside Virginia.;It was hypothesized that the establishment and growth of Richard Bland College was based largely on decisions of a political nature rather than on sound academic planning. Further, the effective use of politics enabled the institution to survive many of the crises it faced during the period 1958 to 1972.;The historical method of research was used in writing about the establishment and growth of Richard Bland College. This method allowed for the examination of primary source documents, the obtaining of oral testimony from participants and observers, and the scrutiny of relationships among people, places, and events.;It was concluded that politics permeated every major decision that was related to the establishment and growth of the institution. The role played by local, state, and national political figures and the rivalry that existed among local political sub-divisions materially affected Richard Bland College during the period being considered. Decisions of a political nature which related to nearby public and private colleges also affected Richard Bland.;Further research into the post 1971 period is needed to analyze the changing social nature of Southside Virginia and to determine the effect of neighboring colleges on the future of Richard Bland. The future viability of the institution might be studied in light of state and national educational decisions.



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