ERIC Number: ED207390
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Colleges Respond to Decline: Resistance versus Application. Issues in Higher Education, No. 17.
Mingle, James R.; Norris, Donald M.
Experiences of the 1970s and prospects for the 1980s of colleges that had undergone enrollment decline and/or financial cutbacks were surveyed, based on visits to 20 colleges and universities in 11 states in the Northeast, Midwest, and South. Some of the strategies to resist and overcome decline have potential for success in a wide range of institutions, and the following approaches are generally low-cost and easily implemented: retention programs that deal with marginal students through special counseling and remedial programs and those that deal with students who may be dropping out for other than academic reasons; improving student life and campus climate; tightening standards and attracting bright students; and attracting new sources of revenue. While the decade of the 1970s was predominantly one of resistance to enrollment decline, institutional leaders in the future increasingly will need to seek ways to adapt their organizational structures to a smaller scale of operations. Adapting successfully calls for careful planning in anticipation of decline, defining institutional mission, developing cost studies, and monitoring tenure levels. A sophisticated array of planning tools is needed to adapt successfully to decline: they must be applied to a process of internal reallocation of resources or contraction in absolute size and scope. A commitment and consensus from the faculty is important in initiating major reallocations or cutbacks. Reassessment efforts also involve developing review criteria. Adjusting to a smaller scale of operations involves adjusting staffing practices, consolidating administrative structure, eliminating academic programs, and limiting course offerings of existing programs. The responses of specific colleges and universities are briefly described. (SW)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Change Strategies, College Administration, College Faculty, College Planning, College Students, Declining Enrollment, Evaluation Criteria, Financial Policy, Financial Problems, Higher Education, Program Costs, Program Termination, Resource Allocation, Retrenchment, School Holding Power
Southern Regional Education Board, 130 Sixth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.