Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Ernest Goeres.


Until recent years, the concept of entrepreneurship has been the subject of study and application primarily in the private sector business community. However, in the wake of decreasing traditional sources of funding, higher operating costs, increasing government intervention, and institutional initiatives, entrepreneurship has gained increasing attention in public higher education (Elford & Hemstreet, 1996; Keast, 1995; Kozeracki, 1998).;This study examined the current patterns of entrepreneurial activities in public liberal arts and general baccalaureate colleges as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2000). A survey instrument was prepared to determine what kinds of entrepreneurial initiatives were being used by these institutions and what level of success was being experienced. The study further examined the relationships between the level of entrepreneurial activity, the success of the entrepreneurial initiatives, and numerous institutional variables. The survey instrument was mailed to the institution's president. The entire population of seventy-five public higher education institutions was surveyed with a response rate of 37 percent.;This study provided much needed data regarding the types of traditional and entrepreneurial initiatives being used at four-year colleges and universities and which ones are proving successful. The respondent institutions reported increasing tuition and fees, using college/university foundations, and distance-learning within the existing organizational structure as having the highest levels of success, with over eighty percent of the institutions using these three initiatives to generate revenue. Of equal importance is the finding that the least successful initiatives were technology transfer centers, spin-off companies, distance-learning programs in partnership with private sector enterprise, and distance-learning programs as for-profit subsidiaries, with only 3.6 percent of the respondent institutions using these initiatives.;Significant relationships were found between the level of entrepreneurial activity and the level of success of the entrepreneurial initiatives with the number of full-time faculty, changes in state appropriations, and changes in the purpose and/or mission of the institution to encourage entrepreneurial endeavors.;The study also includes recommendations for practice and recommendations for further study.