This qualitative study explores the transformational leadership strategies used by university leaders to transform their respective institutions of higher education in the post-pandemic era. The study builds on Bass's (1985a) transformational leadership model, and the guiding research question is, "What transformational leadership strategies do university leaders use to transform university environments?" The study utilizes a narrative inquiry approach to collect and analyze data from publicly available and accessible sources. The data analysis highlights four themes of transformational leadership practices, including idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. The findings reveal that transformational leaders exhibit high moral standards, personal magnetism, and tenacity in their pursuits to influence others. They also nurture a growth mindset, forward thinking, and a culture of excellence to motivate others. Furthermore, they promote learning and discovery, progressive collaboration cultures, effective critical thinking, and out-of-the-box thinking to stimulate creativity. Lastly, they create an individualized connection, acknowledge and validate feelings, take a personalized approach, and enable employees to show individualized consideration. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on transformational leadership in higher education and provides insights for university leaders to lead their teams more effectively in a rapidly changing global economy. The study concludes with a discussion of the principal results, conclusions, and applications.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Educational leadership--Education, Higher; Education, Higher--United States; Strategic planning--Education, Higher

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Laura Hyatt