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ERIC Number: ED527231
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 279
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-6000-5
The Role of State Higher Education Governance Structures in State-Level Higher Education Lobbying
Burkum, Kurt Richard
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Lobbying and lobbyists are integral components of federal and state public policymaking for higher education at the federal and state levels. While the actions and goals of lobbyists appear to be straightforward, the lobbying tactics selected by lobbyists vary for different situations and in different contexts (Browne, 1985; Cook, 1998; Gladieux & Wolanin, 1974; Milbrath, 1960; Rosenthal, 1993). One specific aspect of the state higher education context which has become more important for states in the management and performance of state higher education is its governance structure--a formal organizational structure that provides oversight over public postsecondary education sectors and institutions (Hearn & Griswold, 1997; Richardson, Reeves Bracco, Callan, & Finney, 1998, 1999). Additionally, there is some historical evidence that higher education governance structures may have an influence on lobbying (Hearn and Griswold, 1997). This study explores the role that state higher education governance structures have on contemporary state-level higher education lobbying. Using a multiple case study research design, interviews with state legislators, public higher education institution lobbyists, and education association lobbyists provide insight into which lobbying tactics are used under what conditions, including differences in state higher education governance structures (e.g., governing board, coordinating board, or planning board). The research methodology also included a comparative lobbying pathway analysis whereby lobbying tactics were pattern coded, mapped, and counted to compare the frequency of lobbying tactics selected under different conditions and to understand why tactics were selected and how state governance structures may have influenced the selection of tactics. The issue of teacher preparation was initially selected as a higher education issue about which lobbying examples were provided by interviewees; however, most lobbying activity concerned appropriations and other institutional operational issues. The findings indicate that there are more similarities in state higher education lobbying than there are differences among the three states included in the dissertation. For all three states, most lobbying tactics decisions appear to be characterized by the following model: lobbyists ("who implements") present policy arguments/institution's position ("what lobbying action") via a face-to-face meeting ("how implemented") with state legislators ("whom to lobby"). Members of the state higher education governance boards, whether it is a governing board, coordinating board or planning board, are rarely lobbied. The higher education issue of most concern is the level of state appropriations. This is followed in importance by policies that impact the operation of public higher education institutions, like any other public entity. Lobbying for K-12 teacher preparation is not done regularly. The findings support both Milbrath's (1960, 1963) communication model of lobbying and Browne's (1985) roles model. Aligned with Milbrath's (1960, 1963) communication model, the most prevalent higher education lobbying activities involved communicating with lobbyees. Maintaining positive relationships with lobbyees is a critically important goal of lobbying for state higher education lobbyists, often taking precedence over successfully advancing the higher education institution's policy position. The finding that contextual factors played a role in lobbying tactic selection decisions supports Browne's (1985) roles model. The most important contextual factors included whether the state legislature or an entity within the state higher education governance structure had authority to determine the level of state appropriations, and the official position of the lobbyee. Suggestions for future research include expanding the study by employing a research design and data collection and analysis techniques to include all 50 states, including lobbying conducted by private higher education institutions, and examining differences in how state executive personnel are lobbied when compared to state legislators. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A