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ERIC Number: ED499166
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Pages: 150
Abstractor: Author
Conservative Think Tanks and Higher Education Policy: Selected Public Policy Research Institutes and Their Views on Issues in Higher Education
Willis, Susan Marie
Online Submission
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to describe four conservative public policy research institutions as organizations in comparison with more traditional policy organizations such as the Brookings Institution, and (2) to examine their views on current issues in higher education in relation to selected national higher education reports. The four conservative "think tanks" chosen were the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, the Free Congress Foundation, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. A review of the literature and related research revealed that no study of this topic had been undertaken previously. Data about the conservative think tanks were gathered from both primary and secondary sources. Telephone interviews with selected individuals were also employed in a very limited way. Ten national higher education reports published between 1980-90, and a survey of articles published in "Change" magazine during the same period, were examined to discover which higher education issues were receiving attention from professional educators. Articles and lectures published by the conservative policy institutions were likewise examined to determine the content of their views on higher education issues. The study revealed that these conservative think tanks are substantially different from more traditional policy institutions in their open advocacy of a particular viewpoint, and in the relative weakness of the scholarly credentials and policy experience of their personnel, compared to more established policy organizations. Their positions on higher education issues focused on a perceived decline in the teaching of Western culture, opposition to affirmative action and multicultural studies, and calls for decreases in funding for higher education. By contrast, the issues addressed in the national reports and in "Change" were concerned with opportunity, access, diversity in higher education populations, and belief that the federal government has an important responsibility in the funding of American higher education. On only one point was there agreement: that the undergraduate liberal arts curriculum should be strengthened. (The following are appended: (1) Supplemental Questions to Telephone Interviews; and (2) Summary of Telephone Interviews.) [Ph.D. Dissertation, Bowling Green State University.]
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A