Dr. Tierini is an experienced consultant and postsecondary education professional with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Some of her skills include Postsecondary Education Policy, Research, Student Recruitment, Student Retention, Student Development, Leadership, and Collaborative Problem Solving.  As an accomplished professional, Dr. Tierini has over 19 years of experience working on programs and projects aimed at achieving foundation,  university, state, and federal government goals and initiatives.  In addition to assisting clients with achieving institutional, organizational, state, and federal goals, she aids in the implementation of new initiatives, collaborative problem solving, guiding, and leading specialized projects as requested.


Consulting Services 

  • Policy Analysis 

  • Student Development

  • Leadership Development 

  • Workshops 

  • Recruitment and Retention 

  • Program Evaluation 

  • Program Development and Implementation  

  • Research 


This study examines how loosely coupled university units collaborate in the achievement of institutional wide goals. Today’s higher education institutions are being asked to do more with less as resources have decreased and regulatory procedures have increased. Collaboration is being touted as a means to improve student learning, avoid redundant efforts and protect access and affordability. When considering that the future of higher education is noted to rely heavily on institutions’ ability to foster collaboration amongst its many components, it is vital that more data is collected that explains how collaboration happens at a loosely coupled university. To examine this phenomenon, this study utilized a qualitative case study methodology to explore the collaborative efforts of the faculty, staff, and administrators at a large state university during their acquisition of a grant which required the institution to infuse entrepreneurial principles throughout the institution.


The data collected for this study revealed that when considering how loosely coupled university units employ concerted action, five elements proved significant in the achievement of institutional goals. The processes and performance of the units, the collaborative processes of the group, the commitment of the units to the institutional goal, the presence, and management of conflict, and the presence of a superordinate goal delineate what constitutes collaborative goal attainment at this large, loosely coupled research university. The significance of these themes was determined by their congruence to the evidence gathered from reviews of the literature outlining group dynamics and collaboration in higher education. The findings of this study provide data that can aid institutions in engaging their loosely coupled units in collaborative action in the achievement of institution-wide goals.