Back to school university-linked retirement communities and institutional integration /
Abstract (Summary)This dissertation examines why universities are establishing affiliated retirement communities, and the connections that university administrators create between an academic institution and these linked neighborhoods. This is a qualitative study that looks at three public, research universities with affiliated retirement communities using the case study method. This study documents ways in which this new type of affiliation may lead to the advancement of a university's institutional mission, engage a valuable constituency, and ultimately encourage the flow of vital resources back to the university. This study indicates that universities may elect to create a linked retirement community for a number of reasons, including the desire to be responsive to alumni demand and the need to create a suitable source of revenue on university-owned land. As the Baby Boomer generation ages and the pool of traditional-aged students declines, more academic institutions may find themselves considering the addition of an alumni-oriented residential community. The incorporation of a universitylinked retirement community under a university's auspices holds implications for the institution's programming, and may expand traditional notions of the scope of the university community. The research is framed by the resource dependence theory of organizational dynamics of Pfeffer & Salancik (1978), which is also used in developing a Model of Institutional Integration. Institutional Integration refers to the extent to which the goals and activities of the retirement community are congruent with the university's institutional mission. The model pictorially describes the potentially symbiotic relationship between a university and a linked retirement community, based on the themes uncovered in this research. The findings indicate that the universities with the greatest formal, organizational linkages with their respective university-linked retirement communities are positioned to achieve higher levels of institutional integration. This integration facilitates the advancement of institutional mission at the retirement community.
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: