Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finklestein, Ph.D

Committee Member

Joseph Stetar, Ph.D

Committee Member

MSR Richard Liddy, Ph.D


Education, Seton Hall University, Catholic identity, Post-Vatican II era, 1966-2006, Catholic mission


This thesis is the first fully developed and published study of Seton Hall University. It specifically examines the organizational structures of Seton Hall University over a forty year period in light of the tumultuous changes in the Catholic Church and Catholic academia post-Vatican 11. Of particular importance is change that influenced the Catholic identity and mission of the university. The author examines the central problems arising from the changes influenced by the actions of the Vatican Council as well as the concerns expressed by Catholic academic, namely, academic freedom and the issues of higher education governance. These two factors spearheaded the eventual changes in the identity and mission of Catholic higher education forever. The study identifies three distinct time periods in which the university experienced significant life cycle transitions during the forty year study period. Within each life cycle, the author further explores the institutional strengths, strategic choices and symbolic actions of the university. These views of Seton Hall University are modeled using the conceptual framework of change described by organizational adaptation expert Kim Cameron in 1984. Extensive archival research clearly validates the processes of Organization Adaptation described by Cameron as being evident throughout this forty year study period. Likewise, Seton Hall's transformation from a small, commuter diocesan-run university in 1966 to a national Catholic university committed to the advancement of Catholic culture and thought in 2006 representing the next generation of servant leaders for the Church and society.