ERIC Number: ED207457
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
The Corporate Authority of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities at the Turn of the Century: A Review of Statutes and Court Decisions.
Duryea, E. D.
The American system of higher education governance is examined by exploring the corporate authority of governing boards at the turn of the century, from the 1880s to World War I, to establish a baseline from which to evaluate changes in this authority resulting from the changing role of federal and state governments in higher education since World War II. The sample used included 17 public and 10 private randomly chosen colleges and universities. Data sources included general governance references, surveys of court decisions bearing on higher education, general histories, legislative statutes and constitutional provisions establishing public colleges and universities, charters for private institutions, pertinent decisions by federal and state courts, and journals and books published from 1880 to 1915. The most obvious finding was an affirmation of the legal distinction between public and private sector institutions. Findings showed that private boards benefitted from an institutional autonomy associated with their position as a private corporation, subject primarily to constraints in their charters (which were uniformly quite brief), to due process and reasonableness, and to governmental policies designed to maintain a governmental conception of the public good. Public boards varied from those for the eight or nine constitutionally established universities, which held a position conceived of as a fourth branch of state government, to the statutory colleges and universities that were bound to legislative will. However, except for the special situations that reached the courts, in general practice, public sector governing boards were accorded the position of relatively autonomous agencies staffed by members serving as private individuals rather than governmental officers. (CC)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Court Litigation, Educational History, Governance, Governing Boards, Higher Education, Institutional Autonomy, Private Colleges, State Colleges
Department of Higher Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Buffalo. Dept. of Higher Education.