Lobbying for Alma Mater: Higher Education Institutions as Interest Groups
Marsicano, Christopher R.
Lobbyists attempt to influence legislation on behalf of their clients. While there is no shortage of research on lobbying and interest groups in political science, few education researchers have examined how lobbyists represent clients in the higher education sector. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, this dissertation examines the role lobbyists play in advocating the interests of American postsecondary education institutions. The first chapter provides a thorough review of the literature on lobbying for higher education. The second uncovers the institutional characteristics that predict lobbying behavior among colleges and universities using a descriptive analysis of a unique panel dataset. The third chapter uses qualitative interviews to examine the goals and tactics of higher education lobbyists and their propensity to work together to achieve common goals. The fourth chapter examines the impact of Congress’s decision to ban earmark funding on higher education lobbying activity and expenditures. Lastly, the dissertation concludes with a discussion of the findings from the previous chapters and identifies areas for future research.