Understanding how administrators at four-year, comprehensive, residential, Catholic universities in Ohio respond to student misuse of social media

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Leadership


Advisor: Charles J. Russo


The purpose of this study was to explore and understand how administrators at Catholic, four-year, comprehensive, residential colleges and universities in Ohio experience and respond to student use and misuse of social media. Using qualitative interview techniques, five administrators from five Catholic, four-year, comprehensive, residential colleges and universities in Ohio were interviewed. Three were interviewed a second time, six months after the initial interviews. The participants' interviews were transcribed and coded for meaning. The data yielded six key findings. First, colleges and universities have behavioral student conduct policies, not social media policies. Second, administrators do not proactively educate students about how to use social media. Next, anonymous social media platforms inhibit administrators' ability to hold students accountable for social media misuse but do provide a means for students to hold each other accountable. Fourth, most instances of social media misuse in which a college or university administrator responds were during Title IX investigations. Next, administrators recognized the role the faith traditions of their universities play in addressing student behavior. Last, because social media technology is continuously evolving, administrators may not be ready to engage in a discussion about this topic.


Social media, Catholic universities and colleges Ohio Administration Interviews, College students Ohio Communication, Higher Education, Educational Leadership, Social Media, Guidelines and Policies, Student Conduct, Student Development

Rights Statement

Copyright 2017, author