ERIC Number: EJ788883
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-15
Reference Count: 0
Are University Systems a Good Idea?
Yudof, Mark G.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n23 pA37 Feb 2008
There are many different types of college and university systems in America--sometimes even within the same state. The system-level office of academic affairs in California, for example, plays a greater role in faculty appointments, promotions, and compensation than that office does in other systems. Some systems centralize legal services, facilities construction, and budget preparation, while others do not. Meanwhile, research on the subject is anemic, largely consisting of factoids organized by state. Few, if any, studies have evaluated whether their systems as they operate today are actually a good idea. In this article, the author states that the promise that higher-education systems would completely resolve the messy interplay among colleges, and between them and political leaders, has largely gone unfulfilled. But systems can be useful if system and campus leaders, and their governing boards, are willing to allocate authority in ways that add value to carefully delineated activities. Perhaps Larry Faulkner, a former president of the University of Texas at Austin put it best: System administrators should recognize that a system office is not a university, and campus presidents should recognize that theirs is not the only college in the system.
Descriptors: Governing Boards, Administrative Organization, Management Systems, College Administration, Regional Planning, Organizational Theories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A