ERIC Number: EJ805416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-27
Reference Count: 0
Colleges Should Go beyond the Rhetoric of Accountability
Vedder, Richard K.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n42 pA64 Jun 2008
A growing chorus of critics--legislators, governors, alumni, students, parents, trustees, and others--is pressuring colleges to increase "accountability" and "transparency." The critics want colleges to measure whether they are actually achieving their core missions, especially educating undergraduates, and to give people the facts about what they find. In this article, the author offers his views on this issue. While he was pleased by the new rhetoric supporting openness about internal operations and accomplishments, he remains skeptical of colleges' willingness to deliver truly useful information. Colleges are afraid that establishing measures of what their students learn, and sharing the results, might reveal that they are, in fact, doing little. Yet if colleges resist calls for accountability and transparency too much, they may pay a high price: the loss of institutional autonomy. The author suggests ways on how the public can protect colleges from undue political interference, but also give supporters evidence that their money is being used prudently and consumers the information they need to make admission decisions.
Descriptors: Rhetoric, Institutional Autonomy, Accountability, Colleges, Institutional Mission, College Role, Governance, Institutional Evaluation
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A