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ERIC Number: ED522150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 171
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-6773-6
The Shifting Landscape of Continuing Higher Education: Case Studies of Strategic Planning and Resource Allocation Practices in Research Intensive Universities
Grant, Mary S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Continuing education units enable institutions of higher education to extend university resources to the larger community for the purposes of addressing key issues in the community, region, and state. Continuing education units have been engaged in strategic planning exercises since the I980's and have developed organizational models and methods of funding innovation in support of and to implement their strategic plans. However, the recent pattern of declining state support and rising tuition has created what some would call challenges and others regard as unique opportunities for continuing education units to strategically re-position the role of continuing education in research and comprehensive universities. This study examined recent changes in the organizational dynamics surrounding continuing education at two very high research universities (RU/VH) with high undergraduate enrollments in Midwestern states. Members of the same athletic conference, each institution is centrally located and has multiple branch campuses located throughout the state. The institutions were selected purposively to contrast the resource allocation and planning dynamics in RU/VHs with centralized and decentralized continuing education units. Interviews with key continuing education leaders and stakeholders, and analyses of strategic plans, budgets, and performance plans informed the study. Both institutions used carry forward or net revenues to invest in actions that supported implementation of strategic plans. No evidence was found suggesting a pattern of reallocation or deallocation from continuing education programs to other university activities or missions. However, the continuing education organizational structure within the institutions created notable differences in the culture and scale of operations and programs. These differences revealed major implications for IHE's capacity to change or enhance continuing education priorities, policies, and practices. The study revealed some distinct advantages for a centralized CE organizational pattern when universities are facing fiscal challenges and shifting workforce development demands. The continued volatility of higher education funding will increase the pressure on continuing education units to be more innovative in their use of fiscal and human resources, and this, in turn, will provide opportunities for additional research to assess the growing role of higher education in the nation's economic recovery. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A