Yakaboski, Tamara

Committee Member

Birnbaum, Matthew

Committee Member

Rude, Harvey

Committee Member

Larkins, Randy


School of Leadership, Policy, and Development Higher Education and P-12 Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



197 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


This study looked at the reentry experiences of Saudi scholars who had completed their advanced degrees at U.S. universities and had returned to Saudi Arabia to become faculty members at Saudi universities. The goal of this study was to explore how Saudi scholars experienced the phenomenon of reentry to work in Saudi universities, how these scholars described the opportunities and challenges of their reentry experiences, and how the university administrators perceived the reentry of Saudi scholars. For this research, a case-study approach was utilized to explore the thoughts and feelings of a certain population to interpret a particular phenomenon. Data were gathered through interviews with two groups of participants. The first group consisted of 16 Saudi reentry scholars with 3 of these participants being Saudi scholars and administrators who worked at Kingdom University. The second group consisted of 14 administrators with 3 of these participants being reentry scholars working in various academic departments from 1 university. Theories explored included reverse culture shock theory, organizational theory, and brain circulation theory. All of the Saudi reentry scholars experienced great difficulty upon reentry in the Saudi culture and in returning to the university setting. Among the issues were reverse culture shock, the return to a tradition-bound, bureaucratic and unchanging academic atmosphere, and challenges related to Saudi culture, especially for returning women scholars. The scholarships received by all of the reentry scholars interviewed for this study supported the opportunity for increased global linkages through education abroad by helping reentry scholars develop both personally and academically. In addition to interviews with scholars, university administrators were interviewed regarding their impressions of and relationships to returning scholars. Results showed that the challenges faced by returning scholars were many and fierce as they attempted to reintegrate within the culture and their universities. Recommendations were made for both returning scholars and their university administrations. Keywords: Saudi reentry scholars, reverse culture shock, Saudi Arabian culture, reentry scholars readjustment, University organization, brain circulation theory, organizational theory.

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