Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Gerald Kops

Number of Pages



In the peer-to-peer file sharing case of MGM v. Grokster, university presidents and university associations did not submit any amicus curiae briefs; The purpose of this study was to conduct a rhetorical criticism of this absence and silence as symbolic action. Using legal research and situational criticism, the study explores the reaction of university presidents during the earlier phases of the file sharing phenomenon as well as their absence and silence at the Supreme Court in light of the questions that litigants urged the Court to decide; It was found that escalating peer to peer file sharing degraded university network functionality to a degree which threatened both institutional autonomy and scholarly freedom and that university presidents employed a variety of strategies to mitigate these threats; However at the Supreme Court at which petitioners and respondents respectively urged a reversal, on the one hand, and affirmation on the other hand, of the Ninth Circuit Grokster ruling, university presidents were absent and silent. The study found that this absence and silence of university presidents at the Grokster Court did not constitute a fitting response to the exigencies that faced core university values of scholarly freedom and institutional autonomy had the Court decided as urged by litigants.


Absence; Absence And Silence; Court; Criticism; Grokster; Higher Education Leadership; Mgm vs. Grokster; Morality And Ethical Economy; Peer-to-peer File Sharing; Presidents; Rhetorical; Rhetorical Criticism; Silence; University; University Presidents

Controlled Subject

Education, Higher; School management and organization; Rhetoric

File Format


File Size

5079.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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