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  1. This research paper investigates the process of forming strategic partnerships to enact organizational change. There has been increasing interest in forming strategic partnerships in higher education due to a variety of motivations, such as pooling of resources and improving the professional development process for students (Worrall, 2007). It is important to examine how strategic partnerships form because the process of formation sets the objectives and expectations of the relationship, which in turn impact the likelihood of success and sustainability of the relationship. Further, despite the growing interest in forming strategic partnerships, the majority of these partnerships fail (Eddy, 2010). This analysis of strategic partnerships emerges from our participatory action research with university change agents activated through the NSF REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) Program. Through an NSF-funded collaboration between [University 1] and [University 2], we work with the change-making teams to investigate the change process and provide just-in-time training and support. Utilizing qualitative data from focus group discussions and observations of monthly cross-team teleconference calls, we examine the importance of motivations, social capital, and organizational capital in the process of forming strategic partnerships. We find that change-making teams have utilized a variety of strategies to establish goals and governance within strategic partnerships. These strategies include establishing alignment among institutional goals, project goals, and partner organization goals. Further, the strategic partnerships that have been most successful have occurred when teams have intentionally built mutually beneficial relationships and invited their partner into the visioning process for their change projects. These results delineate practices for initiating strategic partnerships within higher education and encourage faculty to build mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. 
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