Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Kelchen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathleen Rennie, Ph.D.


Social Media, Social Media Policy, Catholic Education, Faculty, Higher Education


This dissertation investigates the development of social media policies in higher education. This study differentiates itself from existing social media policy research by analyzing the content of social media policies themselves, focusing on how social media policies cover faculty, and examining policies at Catholic higher education institutions. Using multiple data sources and quantitative content analysis, this study found 28.7 percent of Catholic higher education institutions have a published social media policy and 27.5 percent of Catholic higher education institutions have a social media policy that covers faculty.

Related to social media policies at Catholic higher education institutions, this study revealed that doctorate-granting universities make up the largest percentage of institutions that have a social media policy. Policies frequently mentioned particular social media sites, with Facebook and Twitter among the most likely named. Policies typically applied to all those associated with the institution (including faculty). Members of the community were advised to post appropriate content, represent the institution positively, and to ensure posts comply with the law.