ERIC Number: ED390372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Impediments and Imperatives in Redesigning Higher Education.
Benjamin, Roger; Carroll, Stephen
This essay explores higher education governance and resource allocation and makes a case for a new system of governance that goes beyond the traditional belief that all fields of knowledge are always and everywhere equally valuable and the mystique of department-centered governance. In an opening section the essay argues that the decline in the strength of higher education in the United States is caused by its inability to apportion scarce resources among competing missions and academic programs. Governance, the essay asserts, is paralyzed by a lack of criteria and strategies to apportion resources in order to meet as much of the demand as possible yet still maintain standards. To end the paralysis, institutions of higher education must apply such criteria, but this will require redesigning the governance system to be iterative both bottom up from the departments and top down from the central administration. Criteria for making meaningful choices among its many constituent parts must be determined. Further, only open processes, conspicuously including disagreement and appeal, can produce widely acceptable, stable decisions regarding such criteria. The essay describes how the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota successfully applied these principles. Other recommendations include developing inter-institutional mechanisms for systematically developing, refining, and extending reforms; focusing on the institutional mission, concentrating resources in areas of comparative advantage; and allocating state funds based on criteria emphasizing comparative advantages of different institutions. (JB)
Descriptors: College Administration, College Programs, Colleges, Departments, Educational Finance, Evaluation Criteria, Governance, Higher Education, Institutional Mission, Intellectual Disciplines, Power Structure, Resource Allocation, School Policy, School Restructuring
Rand Distribution Services, 1700 Main St., P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Identifiers: Iterative Methods; University of Minnesota