Jason Jacoby

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The residence life strategic planning committee consists of the staff of the Richmond College Dean's Office. They are primarily Area Coordinators and are headed by the Assistant Dean of Richmond College. I am the only student on this committee and am using this opportunity to participate in their activity of creating a strategic plan to be implemented in next year's residence life activities. The plan must work within the parameters of the University's strategic plan, Engagement in Learning. This committee divided the process into four areas: Intentional Education/Outputs, Staff Support and Development, Students and Their Community, Publicity/Awareness. Each of these areas was given to a sub-committee that consisted of one of the members of the greater committee and four to five other members of the University community selected by the head of each sub-committee. My sub-committee has been working to identify the relevant issues and prescribing the appropriate goals associated with Intentional Education/Outputs.

The primary purpose of this paper is to identify relevant research to student development within a college setting, analyze this material, and use it as a means of supporting the recommendations made by my sub-committee. I hope to identify the concept of culture within the context of this college's residence life system and how it is an effective medium for the University to enhance student development I will show how this culture can best be applied as determined by the work of the residence life strategic planning subcommittee on Intentional Education/Outputs and support this notion with various studies of student development. And, I will show how culture is ultimately related to leadership.

Leadership research has shown us that the leadership process in virtually all disciplines can be broken down into three elements; leader, follower, and context. This third element can also be understood as culture. Often, it is the leaders ability to manipulate the context or culture in which the leadership occurs that renders the process effective. Schein's (1990) study of organizational culture and leadership tells us:

Organizational cultures are created by leaders, and one of the most decisive functions of leadership may well be the creation the management, and- if and when that may become necessary- the destruction of culture. Culture and leadership, when one examines them closely, are two sides of the same coin, and neither can really be understood by itself. In fact, there is a possibility- underemphasized in leadership research- that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture and that the unique talent of leaders is their ability to work with culture (p.2).

The study I offer examines various student development theories in an attempt to construct an epistemological foundation for the creation of a strategic plan for the residence life system of Richmond College. The student development process occurring at this level indicates a need for intentional educational advances. Schein's observations speak to the impact that the leadership process has when viewed in light of residence life systems and how an effective staff will help to create a culture within the residences that can facilitate a greater development of the student.