ERIC Number: ED410784
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Higher Education and Public Trust: Factors Influencing Institutional Trustworthiness.
Hamrick, Florence A.
This paper summarizes the results of a university case study that explored the process of demonstrating institutional trustworthiness and factors that influenced the institution's bid for trustworthy status. Interviews were conducted with 14 administrators and faculty, while volumes of institutional history, archival documents, and press coverage were reviewed. It was found that strategies for demonstrating institutional trustworthiness centered on a consistent portrayal of the institution as trustworthy because of its attention to realizing high-priority public goods, its institutional engagements for responding to societal needs, and the integrity and personal regard embodied by representatives on behalf of the institution. As respondents sought to demonstrate this trustworthiness, however, they were mindful of conditions or circumstances often beyond their direct control--that could facilitate or hinder perceptions of trustworthiness. A generally positive influence on public confidence in the university was respondents' involvement in the community. The administration's perceived lack of faithfulness to academic traditions of collegiality and faculty self-governance led many to question institutional integrity and trustworthiness. Virtually all respondents expressed concern about accurate media coverage of the university and its effect on public trust. (Contains 35 references.) (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).