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Responding to Change in Higher Education: The Case of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program at Murray State University and Program Identity

Peter C. Weber, Robert F. Long


Nonprofit studies programs have grown over the past three decades in both number and size. Although scholars have devoted increasing attention to both the field of study and its infrastructure, not much attention has been devoted to the administration of these programs. This study reviews the over three-decade-long history and development of the nonprofit leadership studies program at Murray State University and reflects on the various challenges the program has faced, including enrollment concerns, program reorganization, and declining resources. This analysis highlights the importance of developing a clear program identity, which in this case was shaped around the concepts of service learning and student philanthropy. The conclusions extrapolate broad recommendations that can serve as a road map to similar programs that face common budgetary and enrollment challenges in a changing higher education landscape.

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nonprofit education; service learning; student philanthropy; higher education administration

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