Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Barbara L. Nicholson

Second Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Third Advisor

Edna Meisel

Fourth Advisor

Louis Watts


The purpose of this descriptive, mixed-method study was to explore the role that research evidence plays in policy-related decision-making within West Virginia’s higher education system, policymakers’ perceptions on the reliability and usefulness of various sources of information, and their insights related to factors that facilitate and/or impede the use of research evidence. Using data obtained through an internet-based questionnaire administered to more than 100 higher education policymakers, the study resulted in several notable findings, many of which reinforced similar findings uncovered in the review of the literature.

Most researchers agree that the results of high-quality research can be a tremendous asset to policymakers, as they empower policymakers to make informed decisions. Those researchers who want the fruits of their labor to make a difference in the realm of policymaking must learn to adopt strategies to facilitate the transfer of research evidence to policymakers while working to avoid potential barriers to that transfer. More than anything, policymakers want information that is accurate, timely, easily understood, concise, and free of bias.


Higher education and state -- West Virginia.

Universities and colleges -- Administration -- West Virginia.