ERIC Number: ED202356
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Public Trustee: Ostrich, Mule or Owl?
Pittenger, John C.
The role of state college trustees and their interaction with state government are considered. It is suggested that the trustee should be concerned about what is best for postsecondary education in the state generally as well as for the specific institution. The future trends indicate declining college enrollments, which require planning strategies by governing boards. If trustees do not face the fact of a declining demand for their services, state government may step in to make such decisions. Actions to increase enrollments that could have adverse consequences include: offering scholarships based on some criteria other than financial need, creating new programs or offering old programs at new locations (regardless of demonstrated need), lowering tuitions (or not raising them when indicated), or lowering admissions or graduation standards. It is claimed that these actions will cast doubt on the reputation of public postsecondary education among state policy-makers, and they might hasten the transfer of the locus of power from the campus to the capitol. The net effect of most of the actions would be to increase the price for those already enrolled or likely to be enrolled, and the price will be paid chiefly by the taxpayers of the state. Possible strategies that trustees should consider include the following: undertaking contingency plans, one dealing with a projected decline in enrollments of 5 percent over the next ten years and another based on a decline of 15 percent; promoting cooperative degree programs; increasing part-time adult enrollments; providing adult education by television through cooperation with other colleges; and establishing recruitment centers throughout the state in cooperation with other institutions. It is emphasized that trustees should view themselves as trustees of the public interest and not just of a particular institution. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.; Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. Inservice Education Program.
Identifiers: Seminars for State Leaders Postsec Ed (ECS SHEEO)
Note: Paper presented at a Seminar for State Leaders in Postsecondary Education (Dearborn, MI, November 1977).