I teach courses in research methods and in organizational theory/behavior. My research focuses on collegiate culture/subcultures, qualitative and mixed methods research approaches, organizational effectiveness, and the doctoral student experience.”


I came to Johnson & Wales University after working for nearly 30 years as a college administrator, specializing in educational research, strategic planning, institutional accreditation, and program review/assessment.

Now, as a professor in the university’s Educational Leadership doctoral program, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a vibrant and dedicated community of ELP doctoral faculty, staff, students and alumni.

I teach courses in research methods and in organizational theory/behavior. My research focuses on collegiate culture/subcultures, qualitative and mixed methods research approaches, organizational effectiveness, and the doctoral student experience.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research methods, specializing in qualitative and mixed methods designs
  • Organizational theory & behavior
  • Collegiate culture, subculture studies


  • Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) Certification
    National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Extramural Research Certification
    NIH provides an online training/certification course, Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP), that is intended for use by those involved in the design and conduct of research involving human participants.
  • Certificate in the Management of Nonprofit/Arts Organizations
    Designed for individuals working in nonprofit and/or arts organizations with special emphasis on financial management and resource development, training and supervision of staff, marketing and communications for nonprofits, and leadership in nonprofit environments.

Professional Memberships & Services

  • Board of Directors for Rhode Island State Representative - Three-Year Term, New England Educational Research Organization
  • Board of Directors - Three-Year Term, Northeastern Educational Research Association
  • Editorial Boards
    -Journal of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
    -Editorial Board, Planning for Higher Education
    -Peer Reviewer, e-AIR
    -Invited Textbook Reviewer, SAGE Publications.
  • American Educational Research Association, 2008-present
    Member & Special Interest Group member, conference proposal reviewer.
  • Association for Institutional Research (AIR), 1986-present
    Member & Peer Reviewer for eJournal for AIR, conference proposal reviewer.
  • Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate (Consortium), 2014-present
    Consortium for Education Doctorate Programs in US. As an individual faculty member, I have served as a proposal reviewer.
  • International Congress on Advanced Applied Informatics: Data Science and Institutional Research, 2015-present
    Member, program committee member and conference proposal reviewer.
  • International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, 2016-present
    International group for qualitative research methods.
  • International Research Association, 2014-present
    Member, webinar participant; invited to serve on membership committee.
  • Mixed Methods International Research Association, 2014-present
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 2009-present
    Member and program proposal reviewer for national and regional conferences.
  • New England Educational Research Association, 2009-present
    Member and program proposal reviewer for annual conference; conference presenter
  • Northeast Association for Institutional Research, 1986-present
    Memberand program proposal reviewer for annual conference; workshop presenter; session chair/discussant; conference presenter; and local arrangements committee co-chair.
  • Northeast Educational Research Association, 2008-present
    Board of Directors, program proposal reviewer for annual conferences, mentoring program, graduate paper of the year reviewer, workshop presenter, session chair/discussant, conference presenter, newsletter contributor, awards committee chair.
  • Society for College and University Planning, 2000-present
    Member and editorial board for peer-reviewed journal; program proposal reviewer for annual conferences; conference presenter; session chair/discussant; and certificate program participant.

Recent Publications & Presentations

  • Billups, F. D. (Fall, 2016). Applying Krueger and Casey’s classic approach to focus group data analysis. The NERA Researcher, pp. 10-11.
  • Billups, F. D. (2015). Strategic planning in the academy: Reflections on what really matters. Planning for Higher Education Journal | V43N3 April–June 2015.

  • Billups, F. D. (Fall, 2014).  Trustworthiness and the quest for rigor in qualitative research. The NERA Researcher, 52, pp. 10-12.

  • Billups, F. D. (Summer/Fall, 2013).  Focus group research: What makes a focus group…a focus group? The NERA Researcher, 51, pp. 10-11.


Sample Courses

  • EDUC 7031: Organizational Theory & Behavior in Higher Education
  • EDUC 9010: Doctoral Dissertation
  • EDUC 7006: Research I: Educational Research for Higher Education Leaders
  • EDUC 9005: The Field Research Project