Contentious dialogue: College presidential responses to the 2016 election

Jonathan McNaughtan, Hugo Garcia-Gonzalez, Ian Lertora, Sarah L. Louis, Xinyang Li, Alexis L Croffie, Elisabeth D McNaughtan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, technology has made it possible, and at times critical, for college and university presidents to increase their campus-wide communication using emails, blogs, and social media. However, there is little research that analyzes presidential communication through these mediums. Using grounded theory, this study took steps to fill this gap by analyzing the unprecedented response campuses had to the 2016 United States presidential election of Donald Trump. The analysis focused on the responses of presidents from the fifty state flagship universities and found emergent themes of unity, contentious election, negative event, university values, civil dialogue, services offered, diversity, and emotional rhetoric, while also finding significance in whether the letters were sent proactively or reactively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-549
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
StatePublished - Apr 2018


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