ERIC Number: ED308753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Colleges Under Pressure: Budgeting, Presidential Competence, and Faculty Uncertainty.
A comparative case study examining selected aspects of internal college leadership during financially troubled times is discussed. Continuous negotiation between university presidents and faculty members is explained. Presentation of the budget to the college community is examined, noting how the president may use the event to define hard times for the faculty. Features of the president's budgetary communication that encourage or discourage the faculty to accept his or her definition are noted. Both colleges used in the study have similar forms of control, and their presidents have comparable experience. They communicate with their faculties about the budget in diverse ways with budgetary messages differing in substance and form. President A introduces a critical financial problem with a broad-ranging explanation of background, detailed description of actors, and open-ended but defined set of possible endings. President B gives the message by focusing on the situation as it exists in the present, describing the current context with detailed quantitative measures, depicting financial dynamics in inanimate terms, and ending with an open-ended question about the college's financial future. If the president does not give an interpretation of the frightening event, it will result in ambiguity, discomfort, and a faculty in search of efficacy. Several considerations for administrators include: when presenting the budget to the faculty, interpretation is needed; a clear, plain story is more effective than a polished business report; and the president is likely to be an important internal actor during times of resource stress. Contains 32 references. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).