Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Dorita Wotiska


This study describes the nature and development of Catholic school boards, reports the characteristics of Michigan Catholic school boards, and investigates relationships between involvement in key board functions (establishing mission, long-range planning, budget monitoring, policy development, and marketing) and selection processes, governance postures, and training. The findings indicate a relationship between key board function involvement, election process, consultative governance posture, and training. Survey methodology and design was used to obtain the data for the study. Board presidents and school administrators from all 358 Catholic schools in the state were invited to participate. A 9 6 % response rate was obtained. As indicated from the respondents, 8 6 % of Michigan 's Catholic schools have a board which consists of 10 or 11 members, meets monthly throughout the academic year, and is usually consultative in nature. Parental concerns, accreditation, technology, and staff salaries headed the list of issues which boards have addressed. Insufficient time, training, and power limit the boards' accomplishment of their duties and functions. Insufficient funding, declining enrollment, and deteriorating facilities were indicated as serious problems facing Catholic schools. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

An important implication from this study is that orientation training should be readily available to board members. An analysis of the results indicates that in service training regarding board member roles and responsibilities is essential. Another implication was that Catholic school boards were found to be an effective means of utilizing the talents of lay people within the church governance posture.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access