Intersecting Philosophies: A Qualitative Study of Student Conduct Administrators and Their Decision Making Utilizing the Concepts of Justice and Care
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Student discipline has been issue for higher education administrators in the founding of college campuses. Today’s student conduct administrator is faced with complex issues that require an understanding of the legal requirements of due process while supporting the education mission of the institution. However, little research has addressed student conduct administrators as professionals and no research has explored their decision-making process. This qualitative study examined eight student conduct administrators and how they make decisions in their positions through the concepts of justice and care. These individuals were employed at large public research institutions at mid-level, working full time in student conduct. In-depth interviews were utilized to collect data that were categorized and evaluated through the lenses of justice, based on the framework of Kohlberg, and care, based on the framework of Gilligan. The findings indicated that student conduct administrators used both justice and care in their decision making. Justice was seen primarily through the findings phase of the student conduct process, when a student conduct administrator must determine whether the student code of conduct has been violated. Care was seen primarily through the sanctioning phase, when a student conduct administrator must decide what outcome should occur if the student has violated the code of conduct. The findings suggest that gender had no impact on the use of justice and care, as all participants used both concepts.
Waller, Jennifer (2013). Intersecting Philosophies: A Qualitative Study of Student Conduct Administrators and Their Decision Making Utilizing the Concepts of Justice and Care. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from