Beth Triplett

Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Cunningham

Second Advisor

Ernest Goeres

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Molinaro

Fourth Advisor

Powell Toth

Fifth Advisor

John Andes


This study was designed to identify the role expectations, reporting hierarchy, years in role and trends in human resource development as reported by the person responsible for human resource development in small, private colleges and universities within the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) geographic area. The population for this study was all the four-year, private schools in Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) states which were classified by Carnegie (Boyer, 1994) classifications as either: (a) Master’s (Comprehensive) Universities and Colleges II, (b) Baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) Colleges I, or (c) Baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) Colleges II (N=200).

Each institution in the sample was mailed a copy of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Roles Survey, an instrument developed for the purpose of this research. The Human Resource Development (HRD) Roles Survey was based on data from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) delineations as outlined in the Models for HRD Practice (McLagan & Suhadolink, 1989). The total return rate for the study was 72% (n=143).

Human resource development is distinguished from human resource management and is comprised of three primary, integrated components: training and development, organization development and career development (McLagan, 1989). The 11 roles defined by the Models for HRD Practice are the functional areas which constitute HRD work: (a) Administrator, (b) Evaluator, (c) HRD Manager, (d) HRD Materials Developer, (e) Individual Career Development Advisor, (f) Instructor/ Facilitator, (g) Marketer, (h) Needs Analyst, (i) Organization Change Agent, (j) Program Designer and (k) Researcher (McLagan & Suhadolink, 1989).

Of the respondents, 69 institutions (48%) indicated that they assigned a person to the human resource development role. The HRD administrator provided data as to whether each of the 11 human resource development roles was expected of them, and the percentage of time that the administrator spent performing the selected roles in the last 30 days. In addition, respondents were asked to provide predictions as to how human resource development would change on their campuses by the year 2000. Frequency distributions, percentage calculations and emergent category analyses were performed to analyze the data.

Results of the study found that the time spent performing HRD roles varied greatly by the role, with more expectations and emphasis on the Administrator role and HRD Manager role and the least time spent on the Individual Career Development Advisor role. Time spent in individual roles did vary according to the number of years in the HRD field and according to the reporting hierarchy for the HRD administrator.

Regarding future trends, the HRD administrators predicted that there would be an increase in training and development, and that in general human resource responsibilities and staffing would increase on their campuses. These forecasts are a consequence of the changing educational paradigm and the transformation of the workforce which is occurring in society.

In summary, current human resource development efforts at small, private colleges and universities are minimal. This study will provide baseline data from which to assess the role of HRD in higher education and will seek to fill the void in research on how to utilize human resources to improve the effectiveness of colleges and universities.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


College personnel management.

Universities and colleges – Administration.

Universities and colleges – Business management.