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ERIC Number: ED442341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Decision Rules Used in Academic Program Closure: Where the Rubber Meets the Road.
Eckel, Peter D.
This study examines, from an organizational perspective, decision rules guiding program discontinuance, testing the framework of decision rule rationality versus action rationality. A multi-site case study method was used; interviews were conducted with 11-16 individuals at each of four research I or II universities that had discontinued at least two academic programs within the last seven years. In addition to the interview data, other materials such as meeting minutes, institutional reports, speeches, and newspaper accounts were examined. Data analysis identified within-case and cross-case decision rules used. The study found that decision rules identified programs with weak or novice leaders, with low numbers of students and faculty, and which were not central to the"college's" mission. The study also suggests that most of the decision criteria are not used to select programs for closure; instead, programs closed were those that had few supporters and were unable to generate adequate political clout. Program closure also had little to do with external demand for graduates, anticipated enrollments, or internal demand for courses. Findings suggest instead that closure is based on action rationality rather than decision rationality. Appended are lists of programs closed and tables of criteria and decision rules by institution. (Contains 49 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A