lobbying for Academic Earmarked Funding at the Federal Level

lobbying for Academic Earmarked Funding at the Federal Level

Author: 
Mohammad A. Shinwari
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
The growing demand for teaching, learning, and innovation in higher education institutions face funding problems within the context of declining state funding, and steep competition for peerreviewed federal research funding. Earmarked funding is part of the answer to fiscal woes, but it is a controversial solution. The conceptual framework of this study uses qualitative research methodology and case study design to gather pertinent data from archival studies to elucidate pro and con positions among affected parties in academia, Congress, federal research agencies, and the citizenry at large. The framework delimits issues of equitable opportunity for academic research, building infrastructure and technology for universities. Elected legislators gain popularity by securing funding in their districts, and earn informal favors among other legislators who work in committees to pass myriad policies. The process of allocating earmarked funds is facilitated largely through the efforts of lobbyists, in preference to established, traditional lobbying organizations that are marginally effective in terms of the length of time for seeing uncertain results. Lobbyists have no guarantees, negotiating in an environment of political bias and re-election interests. Academic administrators may hire revolving-door lobbyists, former legislators or congressional staffers who become employed by lobbying firms, for an extra advantage provided by lobbyists’ prior knowledge of the political system within Congress. This research examines the phenomena related to academic earmarked funding including incentives to and from legislators, regulations on lobbying, current practices that avoid those regulations, and the outcomes of earmarked awards, including their accountability and transparency to disseminate knowledge and better understanding.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation with profound gratitude to my late loving parents, whose memories inspired me to be at this stage in higher education. I thank my family, my wife Marium, and children Juwariyah, Ishaq, and Sarah, for their love and support through the entire doctoral journey. They are the reasons for my persistence and success in this endeavor. I also dedicate this work to all of my teachers who played a major role in my education and whose invaluable guidance has made education possible throughout my life.
Acknowledgements: 
I wish to thank my dissertation committee members who were more than generous with their expertise and valuable time in guiding my dissertation. A special thanks goes to Dr. J. Wyatt, my dissertation committee chair, for her countless hours of reflecting, reading, encouraging, and most of all, for her patience throughout the entire completion and approval process. I also thank Dr. Y. Zhu and Dr. V. C. X. Wang, my dissertation committee members, for agreeing to serve on the committee and providing their professional feedback throughout the completion process. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the faculty members who were involved in the entire doctoral program for sharing their professional and academic knowledge with their students. Finally, I appreciate the help that the administration and staff provided me throughout the course of this program. All the individuals who were involved in this program made this research journey an enjoyable experience.