Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Louis K. Watts

Second Advisor

Charles Bethel

Third Advisor

Michael Brookshire

Fourth Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham


The current study was initiated to assess the organization of the marketing function in institutions of higher education and to measure the perceptions of higher education marketing officials about various aspects of marketing. The study is a modified replication of a study by Michael W. Mulnix (1996) and employed the questions developed by Mulnix to measure perceptions of current practitioners. Several demographic questions were added about the respondents and their institutions. An updated study is useful because of three categories of change in higher education since 1996: a) changes in the way higher education conducts its operations; b) changes in the media and methods used in marketing and communication; and c) changes in prospective students and other stakeholders. The researcher employed an online survey, with follow-up through a paper survey to one group. The survey was sent to a group of public relations practitioners representing the American Association of Universities, a group similar to the one surveyed by Mulnix, but additional categories of institutions were included. A comparison of the means from the Likert-style questions between Mulnix (1996) and the current survey revealed some significant differences. There was a higher degree of agreement with most of the statements that indicated a broader scope of the marketing process. There was a higher level of agreement on the increased importance of marketing research and the need for the chief communications officer to have central authority for integrating communication efforts. The researcher concluded that the marketing function has a broader acceptance in the higher education community. The respondents identified greater importance on the role of marketing research, a broader scope for the marketing effort, and increased importance of integrated communication.


Universities and colleges -- Marketing.