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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Lynn Beck

First Committee Member

Jie Lu

Second Committee Member

Joanna Royce-Davis

Third Committee Member

Antonio Serna


The purpose of this qualitative study was to use the systems theory as the analytic framework to examine student conduct systems (SCSs) in Chinese colleges and universities. analyze environmental factors that influence SCSs. and explore administrators' recommendations for improvement of SCSs. Ten public universities were randomly selected from twenty-nine four-year universities in Zhejiang province. Documents related to student conduct systems from ten universities were analyzed, and thirteen administrators and one school counselor from nine universities were interviewed. While the findings of this study supported the previous research on many points, this study differed from the current literature in three important ways. First, this study provided insight into perceptions of administrators and counselors working at the forefront of SCS at Chinese universities regarding the educational purposes of SCSs and how the campus community members attempted to make the student conduct system work to achieve those purposes. This study also provided administrators' understanding of tension between educational roles of SCSs and damaging effects of formal punitive sanctions on students. Second, this study illustrated how administrators and counselors dealt with the educational and legal nature of SCSs while handling student conduct issues. This study first showed that student rights the investigated Chinese universities accorded exceed what laws and regulations require. Meanwhile, this study suggested that administrators appeared inure practical in dealing with student misconduct: they were trying to make a balance between complying with the basic legal requirements and handling student conduct issues more effectively and efficiently. The study showed that the majority of disciplinary cases were handled through informal resolution and administrators tended not to complicated the disciplinary processes. Third, this study explored environmental factors that affected SCSs in China. This research uncovered many aspects of the social environment that influenced SCSs, including laws and regulations, traditional culture, societal change, practices of peer universities and parents and public opinion. Factors within the university system included: university administrative systems, governance practices, educational objectives, university traditions especially those involving SCS historic and current practices, and the quality of student body.





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