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ERIC Number: ED519715
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug-1
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Voluntary System of Accountability Program (VSA) for Public Universities and Colleges
McPherson, Peter; Shulenburger, David
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
Every public university is engaged now in serious and ongoing accountability appraisal with significant time and resources dedicated to the task. The academy's commitment to accountability is real. Focusing on accountability for undergraduate education, one of several important functions of public universities satisfies a need, but it should not be construed as accounting for the totality of university output. The authors suggest a voluntary accountability system in which universities may elect to participate. This paper represents the beginning of an effort and there clearly must be a community process developed to monitor and make appropriate modifications as time goes on. If the academy can agree on this meaningful but manageable set of accountability measures, they would generally satisfy the public by providing more useful information. There would be economy and value in that result. The authors urge that this accountability data be used only to compare specific universities with their own past performance and with the performance of comparable universities. They think that regional accreditors will want to consider using the set of accountability measures to help satisfy their standards and governing boards may also want to substitute these measures for the information they currently require of institutions. They begin with the set of first principles that presidents and provosts felt to be important tests of the viability of a voluntary system of national public university accountability.
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. 1307 New York Avenue NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005-4722. Tel: 202-478-6040; Fax: 202-478-6046; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges