ERIC Number: ED232610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Adaptation of Four Year Undergraduate Colleges to Current Fiscal and Enrollment Pressures: An Exploration of Critical Event Cycles at Seventeen Campuses. ASHE 1983 Annual Meeting Paper.
Finkelstein, Martin; Farrar, David
The results of analyzing institutional change profiles for 17 four-year undergraduate colleges are discussed. Using critical event cycles as a unit of analysis, attention was focused on distinctive patterns of institutional adaptation. Based on site visits, a list of 33 critical events at the 17 campuses was developed, from which 13 critical event cycles were identified. The most pre-emptive pattern associated with organizational change (in 6 of the 17 colleges) was the prominence of the enrollment shortfall followed by the presidential shake-up cycle. All of the colleges experienced a financial crisis in the early 1970s, precipitated largely by unanticipated enrollment shortfalls. All appointed new presidents between 1971-1975, who were granted broad powers for restabilizing the institution. Patterns associated with persistence and stability were also identified. The picture that emerged was generally one of institutions driven primarily by external forces/actors and student consumers, and only sometimes by powerful presidents. Changes in Carnegie classification in 1970, 1976, and 1978, as well as substantive changes in curriculum and student and faculty composition during the 1970s, were also analyzed. Lists of the critical events and cycles are appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Curriculum, College Presidents, Declining Enrollment, Enrollment Trends, Financial Problems, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Leadership Responsibility, Organizational Change, Student Characteristics, Teacher Characteristics, Trend Analysis, Undergraduate Study
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 25-26, 1983), and the Annual Meeting of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (March 10, 1983).