Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Dale Andersen

Number of Pages



Sexual harassment in America's academic institutions, including two-year colleges, continues to be an important issue for administrators to address. While people may believe that the potential for false accusations exists, as is true for any inappropriate behavior, little has been written, or presumably, studied about false sexual harassment accusation. A theoretical framework taken from Rotter's Expectancy-Reinforcement Theory (a Social Learning theory) was proposed as a basis to explain the possibility that contemporary conventional behavior may be guiding college administrators who process sexual harassment claims, and those who are participants. It states, in part, that individuals behave in a manner that is goal oriented, and in the context of the expectancy of the goals to be achieved; The Cannon Center for Survey Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas facilitated instrument construction, data reception, and data processing. A 15-question survey was constructed, approved, and sent to 870 American community college Human Resource Officers. Additionally, there was a final open response item that collected comments that were analyzed qualitatively. Data were collected and analyzed using, primarily, descriptive and correlational methods; The study's response rate may have been limited by the request to respond to a sensitive topic based on a need to recollect policy and procedure. Yet, the study was still considered to have the potential to provide exploratory information addressing the reality of false sexual harassment accusation identification and processing among community college human resource officers; Generally, the study seemed to suggest that there were, within the two-year college respondents, no rigidly followed conventions regarding the identification and processing of false sexual harassment accusations (FSHA). Specifically, the data show that although an overwhelming majority of the HRO's who responded have participated in sexual harassment complaint processing, only 32% reported policies that specify FSHA penalties available to them, and only 7% reported that their institution had taken action against one who has made a false sexual harassment accusation; Further, the results of the study support the need for changes in two-year college administrative policy and procedure to better insure equitable and fair sexual harassment claim processing for all involved parties. It also suggests that a heightened awareness regarding the potential and extent of false sexual harassment accusations may be appropriate.


Accusation; College; Community; Community Colleges; Harassment; Human; Human Resource Officers; Officers; Perceptions; Processing; Resource; Sexual; Sexual Harassment

Controlled Subject

Community colleges; School management and organization

File Format


File Size

6000.64 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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