Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


In economically challenging times, institutions of higher education are often forced to make cuts that would not be considered during times of prosperity. If one such decision is to eliminate the music degree, what factors might contribute to such a decision and what repercussions might be felt after it? How do faculty, administrators, alumni, and members of the campus's host community view the decision? What are the town and gown consequences after the degree is gone? What impact will such retrenchment have on campus and community culture? This case study researches a small, Midwestern university and its host community before, during, and after a decision to eliminate the university's music major was made in 1989–90. The purpose of this study is to explore how this decision affected community and campus members, community and campus culture, and town and gown relationships. Individual perspectives are viewed through the lens of social capital and are reinforced with research on documents pertaining to the decision, the university, and the community.