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State government and the movement to increase higher education accountability and responsiveness

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State government and the movement to increase higher education accountability and responsiveness
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Vaillancourt, Allison McEwen
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x, 189 leaves : illustrations, forms ; 29 cm

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Public universities and colleges -- United States ( lcsh )
Educational accountability -- United States ( lcsh )
Higher education and state -- United States ( lcsh )
Educational accountability ( fast )
Higher education and state ( fast )
Public universities and colleges ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 179-189).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, Public Administration.
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Allison McEwen Vaillancourt.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Classification:
LD1190.P86 1995d .V35 ( lcc )

Full Text
STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE MOVEMENT
TO INCREASE HIGHER EDUCATION
ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIVENESS
by
Allison McEwen Vaillancourt
B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1984
M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1990
A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Administration
1995
AL


This Thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Mark Emmert
r'//<-//ft
Date


Vaillancourt, Allison McEwen (Ph.D. Public Administration)
State Government and the Movement to Increase Higher Education Accountability
and Responsiveness
Thesis directed by Professor Franklin J. James
ABSTRACT
State government leaders are taking a more active role in trying to increase
the accountability and responsiveness of public universities. Increased public
university oversight has resulted in requirements ranging from faculty productivity
reports to enrollment limitations. This dissertation used Paul Light's
accountability continuum and Phillipe Nonet and Phillip Selznik's legal continuum
as a theoretical framework for assessing the range of state government attempts to
increase accountability and responsiveness in public doctoral granting institutions.
This dissertation utilized content analysis of state statutes and the results of
survey instruments administered to state legislative education committee chairs and
university administrators to analyze the prevalence and perceived effectiveness and
administrative burden of 16 accountability requirements, create an inventory of
strategies designed to increase institutional responsiveness, and explore
differences in the priorities university administrators and state legislators place on
university activities. Regression analysis was used to determine factors prompting
m


legislative interest in university accountability.
Survey results revealed that both legislators and higher education
administrators favored accountability requirements that improved the quality of
teaching and graduation and retention rates. This study also found that while both
populations believe undergraduate education should be the highest university
priority, legislators assert great emphasis should be placed on workforce training,
while higher education administrators favor basic research and graduate
education. Analysis of state fiscal and political trends revealed that despite
common perceptions, state fiscal crises and partisan control are not directly related
to the enactment of accountability requirements.
These findings are significant on two levels. On a theoretical level, they
confirm Light's assertion that performance accountability and capacity-building
accountability are preferable to compliance accountability in public agencies, and
Nonet and Selznick's contention that responsive law is preferable to repressive
law. On a practical level, these findings offer guidance to governors and state
legislators interested in improving higher education accountability,
responsiveness, effectiveness, and efficiency, and to university administrators
interested in increasing institutional autonomy. /
This abstract accurately represents the content^ t
recommend its publication.
lesis. I
Signed.
ranklin J. James


DEDICATION
To my precious daughters, Kaitlin and Grace, for their incredible patience. And
to Richard, my greatest supporter, for four years of exceptional service as a coffee
maker, alarm clock, therapist, software consultant, and drill sergeant.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.............................................................1
Why The Increased Interest In External Accountability Requirements?....4
Universities As Ideologically Isolated..........................5
Universities As Irrelevant......................................5
Universities As Academically Incompetent........................6
Universities As Unresponsive....................................7
Universities As Fiscally Irresponsible..........................8
Criticism As A Function Of Fiscal Or Political Change..................9
Demands for Accountability As a Response To Fiscal
Shortfalls......................................................9
Demands for Accountability As A Function Of Cyclical Changes
In Institutional Legitimacy....................................13
Evolving Public Expectations Of Higher Education......................17
Accountability Demands And Undefined University Priorities............26
2. ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIVENESS: PRIMARY
DEMOCRATIC AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION VALUES..........................27
Accountability Considered............................................28
Responsiveness Considered.............................................37
Strategic Accountability
Responsiveness-Driven Accountability...........................41
3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY......................................................51
Content Analysis......................................................52
Subjects..............................................................52
Instrumentation.......................................................54
University Administrator Instrument............................54
State Legislator Instrument....................................56
Validity and Reliability..............................................56
vi


Survey Procedures..........................................................57
Data Analysis..............................................................58
Limitations and Deliminations..............................................59
4. FINDINGS......................................................................60
Response Rates.............................................................60
Content Analysis Findings
The Most Common Accountability Strategies...........................60
Implementation Of The Accountability Measures..............................63
Accountability Performance Reports..................................63
Change In Admissions Requirements...................................66
Changes In Institutional Missions...................................66
Creation Of An Accountability Taskforce.............................67
English Language Certification For Teaching Assistants..............68
Enrollment Limitations..............................................69
Enrollment, Retention, And Graduation Reports.......................70
Faculty Productivity Reports........................................70
Faculty Salary Restrictions.........................................71
Funding Based On Progress In Enrolling, Retaining And
Graduating Minority Students........................................71
Graduation Time Limits..............................................71
Performance-Based Funding...........................................72
Restrictions On How Revenue May Be Generated........................74
Restrictions On Sabbaticals.........................................74
Student Outcomes Assessment.........................................75
Tuition Ceilings....................................................76
Efforts to Increase Productivity....................................77
Cost Reduction Efforts..............................................78
Efforts To Increase Fiscal Accountability...........................80
Efforts To Revamp Higher Education Systems..........................80
Factors Influencing Adoption Of Accountability Measures....................81
State Concerns About Higher Education Accountability................81
vii


Relationships Between Universities And State Legislatures.......82
State Legislator And University Administrator Agreement On
Institutional Missions..........................................83
Agreement On Mission And Institutional Priorities...............84
Fiscal Indicators...............................................85
Partisanship of State Legislatures and Governor's Offices.......86
University Governance...........................................86
Responsiveness..................................................87
Other Strategies To Increase Responsiveness............................88
Applied Research................................................88
Initiatives To Assess External Needs And Expectations...........90
Efforts To Increase Access......................................91
5. DISCUSSION.................................................................115
Prevalence Of Accountability Strategies................................115
Perceptions Of Strategy Effectiveness And Administrative Burden........117
Performance Accountability......................................121
The Value Of Performance-Based Accountability Approaches........126
Proactive Versus Reactive Accountability...............................130
Factors Influencing Accountability Requirements........................131
Implications Of Findings For Future Practice...........................134
Assessing Constituent Needs And Preferences.....................135
Increasing Academic Program Access..............................137
Applying Research To "Real-World" Problems......................138
Summary................................................................139
Recommendations For Further Research...................................142
Conclusion.............................................................145
APPENDIX......................................................................149
A. Public Doctoral Granting Institutions Which Were Surveyed ..........150
B. University Administrator Survey Packet Cover Sheet..................155
C. University Administrator Survey Cover Letter........................156
viii


D. University Administrator Respondent Consent Form.......................157
E. University Administrator Survey.........................................158
F. State Legislator Cover Letter............................................162
G. State Legislator Survey Sample 1........................................163
H. State Legislator Survey Sample 2,.......................................165
I. Examples of Performance Indicators......................................167
J. Public University Accountability Measures Required By The States.........168
K. Mean Responses from University Administrators by State Regarding
State Accountability Concern.............................................171
L. Distribution of Mean Institutional and Mean State Responses by
University Administrators Regarding Relationships Between
Universities and State Legislatures......................................172
M. Mean State Responses by University Administrators Regarding
Relationships Between Universities and State Legislatures................173
N. Distribution of Mean Institutional and State Responses by University
Administrators Regarding Agreement on University Missions................174
O. Mean University Administrator Responses by State Regarding
Agreement on University Missions.........................................175
P. Evaluation Of Accountability Strategy Characteristics Using Light's
Accountability Continuum............................................176
REFERENCES........................................................................179
IX


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A number of people offered me support and advice during my doctoral studies.
I'd like to thank Dr. Franklin James for boosting my self confidence during the early
part of my studies and for guiding me through a series of tortuous (albeit, character
building) exams and the dissertation process. I could not have hoped for a more
supportive advisor.
My other committee members -- Dr. Lloyd Burton, Dr. Kathy Boyd, Dr. John
Buechner, and Dr. Mark Emmert --merit recognition for their constructive ideas and
consistent expressions of support.
I also want to acknowledge Susan Perez and Erica Reno of the Graduate School
of Public Affairs for support, encouragement and assistance; Annette Beck of the
Graduate School for guiding me through the maze of exit requirements; my friend Terri
McDaniel for serving as both software and hardware advisor; and my classmate and
study partner, Dr. Linda Bowman, for being an excellent listener and role model.
Finally, I want to thank all four of my parents for their encouragement and
demonstrations of support. The cheer leading, last minute flights to Denver, and
philosophical wrangling helped more than they will ever know.
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Speaking in Buffalo, New York, then University of Toronto President Claude
T. Bissell told his audience, "I know of no problem in public administration that is
more complex than the relationship that should exist between governments and
universities" (Bissell 1968,234). Given the content of his remarks, one might expect
them to have been made only recently, but in fact, Bissell made that statement in 1964.
More than 30 years later, the relationships between governments and public universities
have grown only more strained and complex.
Public colleges and universities are under increasing scrutiny and are criticized
in the press and on legislative floors around the United States (Prewitt, 1993).
Increasingly, higher education institutions are called upon to defend their roles,
activities, and effectiveness (Brand, 1993; Keohane, 1993; Pelikan, 1992; Scott &
Awbrey, 1993). This defensive posture has been prompted by a number of popular
books and national reports which assert that higher education is failing to meet the
nation's needs and requires closer evaluation (Bennett, 1984; National Commission on
Excellence in Education, 1983; National Governor's Association, 1986; Bloom, 1987;
Smith, 1990; Sykes, 1987). Much of the criticism stems from the perception that
universities are unethical (Sykes, 1987), academically incompetent (Huber, 1992),
unresponsive to their constituents (Kerr, 1975; Layzell, 1992; Sykes, 1987), fiscally
1


irresponsible (Cordes, 1992), and ideologically isolated (Bok, 1992; Will, 1992).
Inherent in these charges is the perception that higher education institutions have ceased
to be accountable or responsive to their many constituents.
Higher education accountability is a priority issue for state governors,
university presidents (Gilley, 1991), and state legislators (National Conference of State
Legislatures, 1994). Concerns about higher education accountability, autonomy, and
responsiveness are not new, however. Indeed, universities have been the subject of
scrutiny for more than 300 years in the United States (Hofstadter, 1962; Lovett, 1993;
Derrida, 1992) 1980s are quite serious and have heightened legislative interest in
increasing public university accountability and responsiveness.
When government officials ponder how higher education institutions might be
made more accountable, the question assumes that higher education cannot be trusted to
manage its own affairsthat it is up to those outside academe to monitor university
behavior. And states are certainly increasing their efforts at such monitoring. The
traditional "hands off relationship between government leaders and the colleges and
universities within their districts no longer exists (Kozloff, 1990). The role of state
legislatures as simply funding agents for higher education has been replaced with a
model in which legislators take a more active role in the oversight of public institutions
and often attempt to influence university activities and direction (Hines, 1988).
In an effort to influence direction or monitor behavior, legislators have
mandated a number of accountability requirements. Because the number of compliance
measures increased significantly during the 1980s and 1990s, one can assume that
compliance costs also increased significantly.
Unfortunately, the impact of accountability requirements has not been assessed
2


in higher education. A systematic effort to analyze the effectiveness of these measures
is needed. A first step in that direction is to create an inventory of accountability
measures and to determine whether state legislators and university administrators agree
upon the effectiveness and administrative burden of these requirements. This
dissertation provides that inventory and analyzes areas of agreement and disagreement
between state legislators and university administrators.
A solid understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various accountability
strategies, as well as the factors motivating their enactment, will be useful to both state
legislators who are considering new higher education policies and to higher education
leaders who are seeking to prevent micromanagement of their institutions.
The first chapter of this dissertation examines factors believed to have prompted
state-level accountability requirements, including evolving public and legislative
expectations of higher education. Chapter Two explores accountability and
responsiveness as basic democratic and public administration values. This analysis is
followed a description in Chapter Three of the studys research methodology which
was designed to:
Determine the prevalence of 16 strategies that the 50 states have employed to
increase accountability in public universities;
Determine the perceptions of state legislators and university administrators
regarding the effectiveness of and administrative burden posed by these 16
accountability requirements;
Test the hypothesis that mandated accountability efforts are strongly correlated
with legislative distrust of higher education institutions and a lack of consensus
between legislators and higher education leaders regarding the appropriate
mission of public higher education institutions;
Test the hypothesis that state fiscal trends and the partisan composition of state
legislatures and the governor's office influence the enactment of accountability
measures; and
3


Create an inventory of approaches that universities utilize to demonstrate
responsiveness.
Chapter Four presents research findings and Chapter Five analyzes these findings and
concludes with a call for universities to be more proactive in shaping the standards by
which they will be judged, and for legislators to eschew compliance mechanisms in
favor of laws which facilitate institutional effectiveness and responsiveness.
Why The Increased Interest In External Accountability Requirements?
In her latest novel, Moo, Jane Smiley describes a fictional midwestem land-
grant institution where academics sell their souls to the highest bidder and
administrators engage in grand scale empire building. Apparently believing that there is
at least a little Moo U. in every university, legislators have mandated accountability
requirements to rein in academic institutions believed to be fiscally irresponsible and
only slightly concerned about the academic experience of students. University leaders
often assert that increased oversight is harmful because universities require autonomy to
fulfill their historic academic mission (Cole, Barber & Graubard, 1994). Lawmakers
counter that as public entities, public universities should be subject to government
control. Robert Berdahl summed up the exchanges well when he claimed that the
friction between universities and state governments is due to that fact that "many
academics are trying to protect too much and many persons in state government are
trying to claim too much" (Berdahl, 1990)
Indeed, striking an appropriate balance between university autonomy and state
government oversight is a significant public administration challenge complicated by an
ever lengthening list of concerns about how universities operate. Universities are most
commonly criticized on five levels. They are accused of being ideologically isolated,
4


irrelevant, academically incompetent, unresponsive, and fiscally irresponsible. The
following section will explore each of these charges.
Universities As Ideologically Isolated
Some suggest that demands for greater accountability are politically motivated
part of the ongoing battle between both sides of the American political spectrum (Bok
1992 14). Several universities have been criticized for abandoning established
humanities and social science canons in favor of multicultural curricula designed to
broaden instruction beyond the traditional Eurocentric boundariesan effort, columnist
and political commentator George Will called "political indoctrination supplanting
education" (Will 1992,261), and a process bent on "delegitimizing western civilization
by discrediting the books and ideas that give birth to it" (Will 1991,72).
Many universities have also been denounced for permitting or advancing
"political correctness" (Frank, 1993; Lauther, 1995), a term used to describe the
movement alleged to require adherence to speech and behavior codes approved by
"postmodern radicals" (Berman 1992,2) in an effort to avoid being described as racist
or sexist.
Universities As Irrelevant
The "pursuit of obscurity," a phrase coined by Robert Kimball to refer to
scholarly activity which appears to lack real world relevance, (Kimball 1990,142) is
another reason advanced to justify scrutiny of university activity. Indeed, a press
release announcing an Ohio State University professor's research grant to study
medieval Italian marble formations so enraged an Ohio legislator that he proposed, and
5


won passage of, faculty teaching load legislation in an effort to force faculty members
to focus on more "useful" activity (Mahtesian, 1995).
Arguments of irrelevance are advanced by writers such as Page Smith, former
University of California at Santa Cruz provost, who argued that not only is university
research largely irrelevant, it is not even very good. To support his contention, Smith,
in Killing the Spirit, described his personal analysis of research publications which
demonstrated that "publication in the major universities of American is mediocre,
expensive and unnecessary" (Smith 1990, 199).
Universities As Academically Incompetent
Writing in The Closing of the American Mind, Alan Bloom asserted:
"These great universitieswhich can split the atom, find cures for the most
terrible diseases, conduct surveys of whole populations and produce
massive dictionaries of lost languagescannot generate a modest program
of general education for undergraduate students" (Bloom 1987, 340).
Assertions such as Bloom's have made headline news in popular publications
such as the New York Times, which lamented the absence of star researchers in the
undergraduate classroom (Honan, 1993), and a Wall Street Journal editorial which
asserted that university instructors work only six to eight hours per week (Mareoff,
1993).
The integrity and competence of university faculty have been challenged by
such studies as an American Association for the Advancement of Science survey which
found that 22 percent of scientists had encountered falsified, fabricated, or plagiarized
research (American Council on Education, 1992) and a 1993 National Adult Literacy
Survey which determined that only half of four-year college graduates could
6


competently apply reading, writing, composition, and problem-solving skills to
everyday situations (Wingspread Group on Higher Education 1993, 5).
Amidst these findings, universities are charged with creating a culture which
makes it acceptable for faculty members to consistently appear before their classes ill-
prepared (Silber, 1989), permitting teaching assistants who lack English language
proficiency to manage course sections (Bok, 1990), and failing to cement a fragmented
curriculum void of "great books" (Fuller, 1989).
These charges, true or not, shake the foundations of university legitimacy and
provide fodder for writers like Martin Anderson to issue scathing indictments against
university faculties. Writing in Impostors in the Temple, Anderson said of professors:
"They have scorn for their students and they disdain teaching. They are
corrupt priests of America's colleges and universities...They pretend to
teach, they pretend to do original, important work. They do neither"
(Anderson 1992, 10).
Universities As Unresponsive
Interest in legislative intervention in higher education has also increased as a
result of the perception that public universities are unwilling to respond to public
concerns about higher education. Indeed, to many, universities appear to be
untouchable. This is partially true, as these institutions are not subject to the same
forms of political accountability and monitoring as are other governmental agencies.
This is due in part to differences in funding, structure, and governance. While public
universities receive financial support from government entities, they are also supported
by tuition and private grants and donations. Private dollars require universities to be
accountable to those who give the dollars in addition to the entities that provide public
7


support.
The structure and governance of universities also leads to perceptions that the
general public cannot easily influence the behavior of these institutions. The traditional
mechanisms for ensuring government responsiveness tend not to apply to universities.
These mechanisms include dispersion of power (Gardner, 1990), representative
bureaucracy (Kingsley, 1944), an educated citizenry (Gardner, 1990), citizen
participation, collection and analysis of client preferences (e.g., surveys), sunshine
laws (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991), direct elections (Freedman, 1978), law (Gardner,
1990), and a free press (Gardner, 1990). But with the exception of legal requirements,
including sunshine laws, and the scrutiny of a free press, public higher education
institutions are not bound by the same monitoring and accountability requirements as
are other administrative agencies. University leaders are not elected, for example. And
even when universities solicit citizen input, those asked to provide advice are not
typically representative of the general public (Haque, 1994).
The accountability movement has also been encouraged by fears that
universities are not responsive to U.S. economic interests. Some believe that accepting
foreign research dollars and educating international students allows rival nations to
grow more economically viable at the expense of American taxpayers (Bok, 1990).
Universities As Fiscally Irresponsible
Legislative interest in accountability has also been linked to fiscal considerations
(Karol & Ginsburg, 1980; Kerr, 1993; McConnell, 1987). Financial mismanagement
as exemplified by the indirect cost scandals of the early 1990s (Cordes, 1992) and
8


substantial tuition increases between 1980 and 1990 (Hauptman, 1990; Huber, 1992)
are two commonly cited examples. Golden parachutes for retiring administrators
(Weiner, 1992) and excessive salaries for modest faculty workloads (Mareoff, 1993;
Smith, 1990) are two more.
Criticism As A Function Of Fiscal Or Political Change
Responding to the myriad of charges leveled against higher education, Paul
Lauther remarked in 1995, "the academy has always had its share of charlatans,
lowlifes, and scurvy reprobates," but, he countered, for every charge of unethical
behavior, one can cite an abundance of higher education achievements (Lauther, 1995),
83). Solid scholarly activity is somewhat less glamorous than academic muckraking,
hence the average citizen tends to hear more about the scandalous and less about the
honorable.
Some have argued that charges leveled against universities are actually political
in nature and are prompted by fiscal shortfalls (Karol & Ginsburg, 1980) or cyclical
changes in the nation's political climate (Prewitt, 1993). Without denying the
importance of the criticisms leveled against public universities, both the fiscal and
political explanations appear at least partially viable.
Accountability As a Response To Fiscal Shortfalls
The push for accountability in higher education as a function of economic
scarcity has been advanced by Shapiro (1993), Millet (1981), Astin (1991) Brand
(1993) and others. All have suggested that slow economic growth forces states to
9


reevaluate financial obligations, thereby prompting legislators to use "lack of
accountability" as an excuse to justify higher education budget cuts. As Alexander
Astin argued:
It is easy to conclude that many state officials who push for greater
accountability are really looking for ways to trim higher education
expenditures. Thus, the argument that public institutions have not been
sufficiently accountable carries with it the implication that greater
accountability will lead to increased savings in state monies (Astin 1990,
35).
Karol and Ginsburg (1980) have asserted that calls for more accountability are
related to the California proposition 13 mentality in which legislators and taxpayers
question the value and management of higher education in an effort to seek redress
from a perceived excessive tax burden. This argument seems plausible when one
considers that demands for more accountability grew more intense during the period of
1984-1993, a period in which state fiscal resources were increasingly strained. During
this period, higher education was forced to compete more vigorously with other social
needs for resources. When budgetary demands in other areas increase and existing and
potential resources are scarce, it is reasonable to expect fierce competition for state
revenues. Table 1.1 shows that between the years of 1983 and 1993, all but three
states reduced the percentage of tax revenue allocated to public higher education
(Research Associates of Washington D.C., 1993). Actual dollars decreased as well.
Between 1992 and 1993, for example, state appropriations to higher education
decreased by $200 million (Eckl, 1993).
Spending on health, public welfare programs, and corrections consumes an
increasing share of state budgets. The cost of health and public welfare programs,
including Medicaid increased from 25 percent of state budgets in 1984 to 29 percent in
1992 (United States Department of Commerce, 1992).
10


The cost of building and maintaining correctional systems continues to soar in
an effort to accommodate explosive growth of the prison population (National
Association of State Budget Officers, 1991). Between 1983 and 1992, the number of
incarcerated individuals increased by 102 percent as sentencing laws grew more
stringent (Reeves, 1995). As a result, the percentage of state expenditures directed to
the corrections system increased 51 percent between 1984 and 1992 (United States
Department of Commerce, 1992). In addition, legislators continue to grapple with
concerns about chronic poverty and decaying infrastructure (Brand, 1993) which have
profound financial implications.
Increased pressure for capturing state resources has been especially stressful as
new demands have corresponded with changes in intergovernmental relationships. The
"new federalism" instigated by President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s forced states
to absorb financial responsibility for a variety of services and programs. This shift to
state financial responsibility, coupled with a series of unfunded federal mandates which
often consume up to 25 percent of state's operating budget (Wnuk, 1993) depleted state
coffers in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
11


Table 1.1
Allocation to Public Higher Education as a Percentage of State Tax
Revenues
STATE ms; aMMi.tMiiMi'tssilsi
i
Alabama 11.7 12.1 14.6 12 11.6 11.9 10.6 10.4 10 9.6
Alaska 5.6 6.7 6.3 5.9 8 7.4 7 6.9 6.2 6
Arizona 11.4 10.2 10.1 9.3 9.1 9.3 8.8 8.8 6.4 8.4
Arkansas 8 9 8.8 8.3 8 8.3 7.9 7.7 8.6 9.2
California 8.3 10.3 9.9 10.7 9.5 9.4 9 9.1 8.2 7.2
Colorado 7.3 6.7 6.3 6.5 6.2 6.3 6.3 6.2 6 5.9
Connecticut 5.1 4.8 4.7 5 4.8 5.3 5.3 5 4.9 3.8
Delaware 10.3 10.4 10.1 9.7 8.2 8 7.8 7.8 7.8 7.4
Florida 7.8 7.5 7.1 7.1 6.6 6.5 6.8 7.4 6.5 6.2
Georgia 9.2 9.2 8.8 8.5 8 7.7 7.6 7 6.6 6.7
Ha wan 1 1 10.8 10.7 8.6 8.8 8.1 9 8.7 7.7 8.1
Idaho 11.7 11.7 11.6 12 11.4 11 10.7 11.1 10.9 10.1
Iflinots 7.1 6.7 7 7.1 6.3 6.3 7 6.6 6.4 6.3
Indiana 8.5 7.6 7.8 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.7 8 7.6 7.2
Iowa 8.9 8.9 8.4 3.6 8.6 8.5 8.7 9.1 8.5 8.8
Kansas 9.5 9.7 9.6 8.9 8.8 8.8 9.2 9 8.7 9.5
Kentucky 9.1 8.8 8.7 8.7 7.8 7.8 7.4 7.8 6.8 6.3
Louisiana 7.7 8.1 6.7 5.7 5.9 5.4 5.5 5.8 6.1 5.6
Maine 5.8 6.1 6.2 7.2 6.9 6.9 6.7 6.8 6.2 6
Maryland 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.1 6.2 6.3 6.7 6.2 5.6 5.7
Massachusetts 4.9 5.4 5.4 5.6 5.6 5.2 4.6 3.7 2.8 3
Michigan 6.7 6.9 7.6 7.6 7.4 7.4 7.5 7.3 7.4 7.3
Minnesota 8.4 7.7 8.1 9.4 8.3 8 8.2 7.9 7.6 7.3
Msstssipp 11.8 10.7 10 9.2 9.2 9.9 9.5 8.9 8.3 8.6
Missouri 7.1 7.1 7.9 7.4 7.3 7 7.2 7 6.4 6.5
Montana 9.7 9.3 8.4 8.2 8.4 7.5 7.7 7.2 9.8 7.8
Nebraska 9.1 8.8 8.5 8.3 7.8 8 8.6 8.9 8.5 7.3
Nevada 6.5 6 6.6 6.5 6 6.1 6.4 6.1 6.8 6.8
New Hampshire 4.6 4.1 4.6 4.7 4.3 4.3 3.7 3.7 3.4 3.1
New Jersey 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.4 5.2 5.3 5 4.7 4.6 4.4
New Mexico 1 4 13.6 13.2 13.4 12.7 11.8 12 12.5 12.6 12.5
New York 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.2 4.7 4.7 4.3 3.8 3.8 3.4
North Carolina 10.5 12 12.1 12.1 11.3 10.7 10.7 10.4 9.8 10.1
North Dakota 11.5 9.9 10.4 11.4 10.6 9.4 10.4 10.5 11 10.7
Ohio 6.4 6.2 6.5 6.7 6.4 6.5 6.5 6.4 6 5.6
Oklahoma 9.1 9 9.5 8.7 9.3 8.4 8.7 9.1 9.3 9.4
Oregon 8.8 8.5 8.6 8.9 8.1 8.4| 7.8 7.9 7.4 7.3
Pennsylvania 6.1 5.9 6 6 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.7 5.6 5.3
Rhode Island 7.3 7.1 7.1 7.3 6.8 6.6 6.7 5.4 5.2 5
South Carolina 10.1 10.5 9.9 9.8 8.9 8.8 8.3 8.4 7.9 7.9
South Dakota 7.2 7 7.4 7 6.3 6 6.6 6.5 6.7 6.7
Tennessee 8.5 9.9 9.6 9.8 9 8.9 8.6 8.2 7.7 8.4
Texas 10.7 10.1 8.3 7.2 7.5 6.8 9 8.1 8.2 6.9
Utah 11.4 11.3 10.6 10.2 9.9 9.4 10.6 10 10.3 10.7
Vermont LI 4.4 4.2 3.9 3.3 3.4 3.6 3.3 3.1 2.8
Virginia 8.9 9 8.7 9.2 7.7 7.6 7.4 6.9 5.9 5.9
Washington 9.2 8.5 8.8 8.4 7.8 7.8 7.8 7.4 7 7.5
West Virginia 7 6.8 6.9 7.1 6.6 7.1 6.1 6 5.7 5.5
Wisconsin 8.9 8.5 8.8 8.4 8.4 8.3j 8.4 8.5 8.1 8.1
Wyominq 8.3 8.9 9 8.8 10.3 12.61 13.4 13 13.3 13.1
Note: From State Profiles: Financial Higher Education, Research Associates of
Washington, D.C., 1993
States whose expenditures percentages have not declined are highlighted.
12


Accountability As A Function Of Cyclical Changes In Institutional Legitimacy
The sense that public universities lack accountability and are unresponsive leads
to questions of institutional legitimacyto questions regarding whether public
universities are truly public entities governed by elected officials and therefore justified
to receive public dollars and public trust. All public institutions face questions of
legitimacy (Piel, 1975) and feel the autonomy-accountability tug (Prewitt, 1993; Spicer
& Terry, 1993). And, as Samuel Huntington (1981), (Freedman, 1978) and Robert
Reich (1987) have argued, both public and private institutions are subject to cyclical
trends in their perceived legitimacy. While public confidence in higher education has
declined since the 1960s (Lipset & Schneider, 1983) similar declines have also
occurred in institutions of government, medicine, organized religion and business
(Brock, 1993; Caiden, 1989; Huntington, 1975; Lipset and Schneider, 1983).
Table 1.2 reveals that between 1966 and 1993, for example, strong public
confidence in major corporations dropped from 55 percent to 23 percent. Confidence
in Congress dropped from 42 percent to 19 percent in this same time period, and
confidence in medical systems plummeted from 72 percent to 34 percent (Lipset &
Schneider, 1983; Newport, 1993). It is interesting to note, however, that while
confidence in institutions has waned, public perceptions of various occupations' ethical
behavior has not significantly decreased. As indicated in Table 1.3, the perceived
integrity of college teachers, and local and state office holders has actually increased
since the 1970s. But as Huntington and Reich have observed, the perceived legitimacy
of business and government has vacillated for more than two centuries (Huntington,
1981; Reich, 1987).
13


Table 1.2:
Percentage of Respondents Expressing A "Great Deal" Or "Quite a Lot'
Of Confidence" In Selected American Institutions 1966-1993
Year Big v. Business Congress Military Medical System Organized Religion Source*
1966a 55 42 62 72 41 Harris
1971a 27 19 27 61 27 Harris
1976b 22 14 39 54 31 NORC
1980b 27 9 28 52 35 NORC
1984b 31 13 36 51 31 NORC
1988b 25 15 34 51 20 NORC
1993c 23 19 67 34 39 Gallup Poll
Note: From: The Confidence Gap, Upset and Schneider 1983 (a); Trends in Public
Opinion: A Compendium of Survey Data., Niemi, Richard G, John Mueller and
Tom W. Smith. 1989, 97-105 (b); "Confidence in Institutions: Military Still Tops the
List." Newport, Frank. The Gallup Poll Monthly, no. 331.1993, 23 (c)
*Surveys were conducted by Louis Harhs and Associates, National Opinion Research Center
of the University of Chicago and the Gallup Poll.
14


Table 1.3:
Percentage of Respondents Rating the Ethics and Honesty of Selected
Occupations As "Very High" or "High"Between 1977 and 1994
YEAR Clergy College teachers Lawyers Local office holders State Office Holders Members of Congress Car salesmen
1977 61 46 26 14 11 16 8
1981 63 45 25 14 12 15 6
1983 64 47 24 16 13 14 6
1985 67 53 27 18 15 20 5
1988 60 54 18 14 11 16 6
1990 55 51 22 21 17 20 6
1992 54 50 18 15 11 11 5
1994 54 50 17 18 14 9 6
Note: From: "Annual Honesty and Ethics Poll: Congress and Media Sink in Public Esteem,"
The Gallup Poll Monthly. October 1994, 3.


Huntington's analysis of historical periods of conflict in the legitmacy of
American government revealed that the Revolutionary period, the Jackson period, the
New Deal peirod and the 1960s and 1970s were all similar in that they saw the
splintering of organized power and expansion of public participation. During each
period, efforts were undertaken to increase government responsiveness and expand
public participation in the political system (Freedman, 1978; Huntington, 1981).
Between 1960 and 1980, both legislative and judicial actions attempted to
increase social control. Legislative language moved from discussions of general
purposes to specific responsibilities and reporting requirements. As a result, public
agencies were evaluated more on their willingness to comply with rules than with
programmatic success (Mayer, 1992). Ironically, these attempts to hold administrators
accountable through objective measures such as percentages and ratios occurred at the
same time the public began expressing its discontent with public agencies that followed
rules at the expense of citizen responsiveness (Mayer, 1992).
Reich asserted that these cycles of legitimacy are related more to economic
distress than the desire for more political access. He suggested that institutional
legitimacy is questioned during periods of economic distress when the weakened
economy is blamed on the unchecked power of American business or overly intrusive
American government. These cyclic patterns are often explained by a series of
American tales such as the "Rot at the Top" myth, which alternates between indicting
political and economic powers. The early 1980s saw government as the villain, thus
allowing "the new conservatism" to gain a stronghold in conventional political wisdom.
Reich has suggested the new conservatism "warns of slackness and corruption in our
political system that inflicts on us an unaccountable flood of wasteful public spending "
16


(Reich 1987, 22).
Efforts to respond to recent crises of legitimacy have maged from efforts to
make government more accessible, e.g, "the new public administration" (Frederickson,
1980), more flexible, e.g., "the reinventing government movement (Osborne &
Gaebler, 1992), and efforts to make government smaller, e.g. "privatization" (Savas,
1982). Each of these movements has been inspired by a desire for fundamental change
in public service delivery and by frustration with current governmental structures. One
might argue that the desire for a reorganized public sector has been prompted by a lack
of consensus between citizens and public service providers regarding appropriate
public sector activities. This lack of consensus appears to be especially accute in the
public education sector.
Evolving Public Expectations Of Higher Education
The lack of public confidence in higher education has been linked to a lack of
consensus regarding higher education's mission and activities (Levine, 1992). John
Searle speculated that this lack of national consensus regarding what constitutes higher
education success inevitably leads at least some part of the population to believe higher
education is in constant crisis (Searle, 1992).
Legislators, various constituent groups, and those employed in higher education
often disagree about the role and mission of public higher education. Indeed,
constantly evolving public expectations have challenged the higher education
community for almost three centuries (Mood, 1973; Derrida, 1992; Smith, 1990).
Public universities in the United States have historically struggled with what to
teach, whom to teach, and how to serve their communities. Clearly, stakeholders such
17


as business and industry leaders, parents, nontraditional students, alumni, and elected
officials have different expectations and priorities. It should come as no surprise that
those in the higher education community are frustrated by the frequently changing and
often contradictory signals they receive from higher education's many stakeholders.
And it is no wonder that those in higher education tend to meet demands for
accountability with great skepticism.
In 1798 Immanuel Kant wrote Der Steit der Fakultaten (The Conflict of the
Faculties), a work in which he predicted an ongoing struggle between the university
and the statea struggle in which both parties seek to assert their authority and
legitimacy (Derrida, 1992). As Kant warned, universities and those with government
power have debated the mission of universities for more than three centuries and the
struggle has resulted in a continual evolution of higher education's focus.
University attempts to adopt an agreed upon vision have been hampered by the
fact that higher education in the United States is an amalgam of divergent philosophies.
The system has been influenced by the British model which focused on humanities for
a liberal education, and the German system which focused on graduate study and
applied research. These European traditions, fused with the American ethos of public
service, have served to confuse and complicate efforts to offer guidance regarding
which activities universities should pursue (Kerr, 1963). As former University of
California system president Clark Kerr so deftly wrote in 1963:
"A university anywhere can aim no higher than to be as British as possible for
the sake of undergraduates, as German as possible for the sake of the
graduates and the research personnel, as American as possible for the sake of
the public at largeand as confused as possible for the sake of the
preservation of the whole uneasy balance" (Kerr, 1963), 18).
18


Indeed, the history of higher education in the United States reveals that there
has been no sustained agreement regarding higher education's purpose or activities.
Since Harvard University was established in 1636, thereby marking the beginning of
the American higher education system, universities have been periodically charged with
personal development, economic stimulus, democratic advancement, and service to
surrounding society (Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, 1973).
Until the late eighteenth century, higher education was primarily expected to
make gentlemen out of the sons of wealthy families (Mood, 1973) and to provide
religious training for future ministers (Handlin & Handlin, 1970). University functions
changed after the American Revolution when constitutional debates prompted concerns
about the need for an informed citizenry (Lovett, 1993). Thomas Jefferson, who in
1779 introduced a Virginia state bill to create a system of education to include
elementary, secondary and university components (Wagner, 1976), asserted in 1786,
"liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the
people with a certain degree of instruction" (Boyd, 1950), 151). During this period,
education was promoted as a means to advance the creation of a democratic nation.
This era also crystallized the conflict between education for the elite and the concept of
democracy which asserted that anyone could become "a man of distinction through
education" (Handlin & Handlin 1970,24).
As universities grew in number, both public and private institutions found
themselves in need of additional financial support; strained financial resources became
especially acute during the 1800s. As a result, universities were forced to justify their
existence in order to attract fee paying students and gifts from donors (Handlin &
Handlin, 1970). Francis Wayland, president of Brown University during the mid-
19


1800s, asserted that colleges of the United States must "teach what people will pay for
learning" (Handlin & Handlin 1970, 33). Not all schools recognized the relationship
between financial viability and public responsiveness, however. Many private
institutions campaigned for public support by arguing that higher education was a
service to society as a whole. Playing on the notion that a college education led to more
civilized behavior, a Harvard commencement speaker warned in the 1860s that without
the University, Massachusetts would have been "overwhelmed by lewd fellows of a
baser sort" (Morrison 1965,228). Others made general claims regarding the utility of
college attendance thus exposing their institutions to public expectations that they teach
whatever influential groups deemed important (Handlin & Handlin, 1970).
Farmers and merchants were more likely to favor appeals for the usefulness of
the university than they were for claims that universities could uplift the nation's moral
character. Recognizing this, many university officials claimed that universities could
impart scientific principles necessary to improve agriculture and industrial commerce.
To buttress this role, Congress passed the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided 30,000
acres of land for each state representative and senator. These lands were then sold and
the revenue was directed to universities that offered agricultural and mechanical
instruction (Apps, 1988), hence the name "land-grant institutions."
Unfortunately, many farmers found the agricultural instruction to be too
theoretical and worked toward passage of the 1878 Hatch Act which made federal
dollars available for the provision of practical agricultural research. While farmers
appreciated visits from agriculture faculty who traveled the states to give lectures, the
farmers expressed interest in more formal research assistance. Congress responded by
passing the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 which offered federal dollars to land-grant
20


institutions that established agricultural extension services (Handlin & Handlin, 1970).
While agricultural demands shaped the missions of land-grant institutions,
industrialization shaped many others. After the 1870s, university roles were again
reevaluated as increased industrialization reduced the need for land ownership to ensure
financial success. The fields of business, law, medicine and engineering offered more
hope for financial reward; thus credentialing became important. As a result, this period
saw significant growth in professional schools within universities (Handlin & Handlin,
1970).
Interest in using universities as economic engines increased during the latter part
of the 1800s as increased industrialization created the need for new kinds of instruction.
Interest in applied research emerged during this period as well as the U.S. sought to
reduce dependence on European institutions for graduate instruction (Lovett, 1993).
Throughout the 1800s, higher education was rocked by dramatic changes in
program offerings and public expectations. Against a backdrop of programmatic
changes prompted by agricultural needs and industrial evolution, universities grappled
with a miasma of competing ideologies. The "mental discipline" school asserted that
solid knowledge of Greek and Latin languages and mathematics would strengthen mind
and character. The "philosophy of utility" ideology sought to make education practical
in nature and useful the state. "The research concept" emphasized empirical analysis
much like that practiced in German universities. Finally, the "cultural school"
emphasized the humanities in an effort to create well-rounded students (Ross, 1976),
44).
The move toward practical education sparked a debate in academe regarding the
activities of higher education. Cardinal John Henry Newman, in his provocative work,
21


The Idea of a University, argued in 1853 that knowledge should be gained for
knowledge's sake. Newman's ideas were in sharp contract to those who believed that
knowledge should be used for practical purposes such as economic development and
agricultural sustenance (Bacon, 1937).
Thorstein Veblen saw the benefit of both forms of knowledge, but argued in
1918 that their pursuit did not belong in the same institutions. He asserted strongly that
while professional, or "practical," education was necessary, it was not an appropriate
activity for universitiesinstitutions that he claimed were "specialized to fit men for a
life of science and scholarship" (Veblen, 1954), 20).
Not all members of academe were opposed to being "useful," however. In
fact, in its "Report on the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure," the
Association of University Professors boasted of the ability of university scholars to
advise legislators on economic and political matters (AAUP 1915). The Committee
also stressed that universities exist for three reasons:
"A. To promote inquiry and advance the sum of human knowledge;
B. To provide general instruction to the students; and
C. To develop experts for various branches of the public service"
(Hofstadter & Smith, 1961), 866).
Put more simply, universities exist to provide research, teaching and service. Agreeing
upon the appropriate balance of these activities, however, continues to frustrate
members of universities as well as their constituents.
The difficulty of balancing citizen expectations grew especially acute in the
second decade of the twentieth century. During the 1920s, when universities were
seeking more than ever to meet the expectations of their communities, rancorous debate
22


erupted regarding their appropriate role. Abraham Flexner complained in 1930 that
universities were growing too diffuse in their activities and were becoming "secondary
schools and colleges for boys and girls; graduate and professional schools or more
advanced students; 'service stations for the general public" (Flexner 1968,45).
Seconding arguments made by Veblen a decade earlier, Flexner warned in 1930 that the
pressure of undergraduate teaching and vocational education impeded universities from
carrying out their research mission (Flexner, 1968).
The purposes of higher education were debated again in the mid 1940's by the
President's Commission on Higher Education for Democracy. In its report, the
Commission argued that higher education existed to provide for greater democracy,
increase international cooperation and understanding, and apply "creative imagination
and trained intelligence to the social problems and administration of public affairs"
(Hofstadter & Smith 1961,975). The Commission also stressed that higher education
institutions may need to modify their activities in order to respond to "new internal
conditions and external relations under which the American people are striving to grow
as a free people" (Hofstadter & Smith, 1961), 972).
The perceived threat of communism, illustrated to many by the launch of
Sputnik, was one such externality and prompted renewed interest in research during the
1950s when the public looked to universities to help win the "cold war" (Higgs, 1987;
Kerr, 1993; Mood, 1973). During this period, research universities were infused with
government funds to pursue military research. (Higgs, 1987). These years were also
shaped by the introduction of nontraditional students to college campuses. These
students, veterans supported by the Servicemens Readjustment Act of 1944, were
older and more serious than traditional students, had little interest in campus culture or
23


activities, and were less accepting of academic traditions. Many found that university
cultures inhibited fulfillment of their academic and vocational aspirations (Ross, 1976).
During the 1960s and early 1970s government officials expected higher
education to provide leadership in solving explosive urban social problems (Budig,
1970) and ensuring equity in educational access (Bogue, Creech & Folger, 1993;
Millet, 1987). And while they were charged with eliminating racism and securing
world peace, factions of the political left alleged that universities were actually being
used to support both racism and the War in Vietnam (Ross, 1976).
After the Vietnam War, a period of profound inflation in which tuition charges
escalated, elected officials, the press and those paying for higher education expressed
concern about university costs, autonomy and budgets (Ross, 1976). These groups
also exerted pressure on universities to increase vocational offerings in an attempt to
bolster a flagging economy (Ross, 1976).
The 1970s were years of great change in higher education as institutions,
prompted by what Ross has called a "populist philosophy," sought to increase their
constituencies by implementing more flexible curriculum requirements and seeking to
adjust academic programs to student schedules (Ross 1976, 257). These changes
occurred when universities faced marked declines in public confidencea condition
caused by campus demonstrations, a perceived lack of administrative leadership, an
increase in the drop-out rate, and frustration with non vocational subjects required to be
taken by those who were more interested in job training (Moynihan, 1973; Ross,
1976).
Beginning in the 1980s universities have been expected to stimulate economic
development (Bogue et al., 1993; Callahan, 1993; Kerr, 1993; Prewitt, 1993), improve
24


teacher preparation (Bogue et al., 1993), participate in K-12 school reform (Schwartz,
1993), assist in the commercialization of technology (Prewitt, 1993), and increase
minority enrollment and retention (Bogue et al., 1993). These expectations push
universities in different directions. For example, those who believe that the skills of the
American workforce will determine the economic viability of the United States expect
universities to serve as economic engines. Those who favor basic science research or
instruction in the humanities expect universities to pursue a different course. Only very
well-funded universities can effectively pursue all of these activities.
While universities in the nineteenth century struggled with what to teach,
universities in the twentieth century have been confounded about what and whom to
teach. Until the 1940's, an "aristocratic" philosophy prevailed which asserted that
higher education was for a select few. Between 1940 and 1960, the United States
witnessed the emergence of a "meritocratic" philosophy which held that education
should be accessible for all who are able to compete successfully. After 1960, the
"egalitarian" philosophy, which argued for universal access, dramatically shaped
admissions standards and program offerings (Henderson 1974, 44).
Although higher education has been expected to respond to changing public
desires, efforts to satisfy legislators and the general public have been complicated by
the sheer diversity and scope of public expectations and debates about whether higher
education should respond to outside pressures for organizational curricular changes.
"The university is so many things to so many different people that it must, of necessity,
be partially at war with itself" Kerr argued in 1963 (Kerr, 1963), 9). And Logan
Wilson, addressing a Michigan State University commencement audience in 1968,
warned:
25


institutions that established agricultural extension services (Handlin & Handlin, 1970).
While agricultural demands shaped the missions of land-grant institutions,
industrialization shaped many others. After the 1870s, university roles were again
reevaluated as increased industrialization reduced the need for land ownership to ensure
financial success. The fields of business, law, medicine and engineering offered more
hope for financial reward; thus credentialing became important. As a result, this period
saw significant growth in professional schools within universities (Handlin & Handlin,
1970).
Interest in using universities as economic engines increased during the latter part
of the 1800s as increased industrialization created the need for new kinds of instruction.
Interest in applied research emerged during this period as well as the U.S. sought to
reduce dependence on European institutions for graduate instruction (Lovett, 1993).
Throughout the 1800s, higher education was rocked by dramatic changes in
program offerings and public expectations. Against a backdrop of programmatic
changes prompted by agricultural needs and industrial evolution, universities grappled
with a miasma of competing ideologies. The "mental discipline" school asserted that
solid knowledge of Greek and Latin languages and mathematics would strengthen mind
and character. The "philosophy of utility" ideology sought to make education practical
in nature and useful the state. "The research concept" emphasized empirical analysis
much like that practiced in German universities. Finally, the "cultural school"
emphasized the humanities in an effort to create well-rounded students (Ross, 1976),
44).
The move toward practical education sparked a debate in academe regarding the
activities of higher education. Cardinal John Henry Newman, in his provocative work,
21


The Idea of a University, argued in 1853 that knowledge should be gained for
knowledge's sake. Newman's ideas were in sharp contract to those who believed that
knowledge should be used for practical purposes such as economic development and
agricultural sustenance (Bacon, 1937).
Thorstein Veblen saw the benefit of both forms of knowledge, but argued in
1918 that their pursuit did not belong in the same institutions. He asserted strongly that
while professional, or "practical," education was necessary, it was not an appropriate
activity for universitiesinstitutions that he claimed were "specialized to fit men for a
life of science and scholarship" (Veblen, 1954), 20).
Not all members of academe were opposed to being "useful," however. In
fact, in its "Report on the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure," the
Association of University Professors boasted of the ability of university scholars to
advise legislators on economic and political matters (AAUP 1915). The Committee
also stressed that universities exist for three reasons:
"A. To promote inquiry and advance the sum of human knowledge;
B. To provide general instruction to the students; and
C. To develop experts for various branches of the public service"
(Hofstadter & Smith, 1961), 866).
Put more simply, universities exist to provide research, teaching and service. Agreeing
upon the appropriate balance of these activities, however, continues to frustrate
members of universities as well as their constituents.
The difficulty of balancing citizen expectations grew especially acute in the
second decade of the twentieth century. During the 1920s, when universities were
seeking more than ever to meet the expectations of their communities, rancorous debate
22


erupted regarding their appropriate role. Abraham Flexner complained in 1930 that
universities were growing too diffuse in their activities and were becoming "secondary
schools and colleges for boys and girls; graduate and professional schools or more
advanced students; 'service stations for the general public" (Flexner 1968,45).
Seconding arguments made by Veblen a decade earlier, Flexner warned in 1930 that the
pressure of undergraduate teaching and vocational education impeded universities from
carrying out their research mission (Flexner, 1968).
The purposes of higher education were debated again in the mid 1940's by the
President's Commission on Higher Education for Democracy. In its report, the
Commission argued that higher education existed to provide for greater democracy,
increase international cooperation and understanding, and apply "creative imagination
and trained intelligence to the social problems and administration of public affairs"
(Hofstadter & Smith 1961, 975). The Commission also stressed that higher education
institutions may need to modify their activities in order to respond to "new internal
conditions and external relations under which the American people are striving to grow
as a free people" (Hofstadter & Smith, 1961), 972).
The perceived threat of communism, illustrated to many by the launch of
Sputnik, was one such externality and prompted renewed interest in research during the
1950s when the public looked to universities to help win the "cold war" (Higgs, 1987;
Kerr, 1993; Mood, 1973). During this period, research universities were infused with
government funds to pursue military research. (Higgs, 1987). These years were also
shaped by the introduction of nontraditional students to college campuses. These
students, veterans supported by the Servicemens Readjustment Act of 1944, were
older and more serious than traditional students, had little interest in campus culture or
23


activities, and were less accepting of academic traditions. Many found that university
cultures inhibited fulfillment of their academic and vocational aspirations (Ross, 1976).
During the 1960s and early 1970s government officials expected higher
education to provide leadership in solving explosive urban social problems (Budig,
1970) and ensuring equity in educational access (Bogue, Creech & Folger, 1993;
Millet, 1987). And while they were charged with eliminating racism and securing
world peace, factions of the political left alleged that universities were actually being
used to support both racism and the War in Vietnam (Ross, 1976).
After the Vietnam War, a period of profound inflation in which tuition charges
escalated, elected officials, the press and those paying for higher education expressed
concern about university costs, autonomy and budgets (Ross, 1976). These groups
also exerted pressure on universities to increase vocational offerings in an attempt to
bolster a flagging economy (Ross, 1976).
The 1970s were years of great change in higher education as institutions,
prompted by what Ross has called a "populist philosophy," sought to increase their
constituencies by implementing more flexible curriculum requirements and seeking to
adjust academic programs to student schedules (Ross 1976,257). These changes
occurred when universities faced marked declines in public confidencea condition
caused by campus demonstrations, a perceived lack of administrative leadership, an
increase in the drop-out rate, and frustration with non vocational subjects required to be
taken by those who were more interested in job training (Moynihan, 1973; Ross,
1976).
Beginning in the 1980s universities have been expected to stimulate economic
development (Bogue et al., 1993; Callahan, 1993; Kerr, 1993; Prewitt, 1993), improve
24


teacher preparation (Bogue et al., 1993), participate in K-12 school reform (Schwartz,
1993), assist in the commercialization of technology (Prewitt, 1993), and increase
minority enrollment and retention (Bogue et al., 1993). These expectations push
universities in different directions. For example, those who believe that the skills of the
American workforce will determine the economic viability of the United States expect
universities to serve as economic engines. Those who favor basic science research or
instruction in the humanities expect universities to pursue a different course. Only very
well-funded universities can effectively pursue all of these activities.
While universities in the nineteenth century struggled with what to teach,
universities in the twentieth century have been confounded about what and whom to
teach. Until the 1940's, an "aristocratic" philosophy prevailed which asserted that
higher education was for a select few. Between 1940 and 1960, the United States
witnessed the emergence of a "meritocratic" philosophy which held that education
should be accessible for all who are able to compete successfully. After 1960, the
"egalitarian" philosophy, which argued for universal access, dramatically shaped
admissions standards and program offerings (Henderson 1974,44).
Although higher education has been expected to respond to changing public
desires, efforts to satisfy legislators and the general public have been complicated by
the sheer diversity and scope of public expectations and debates about whether higher
education should respond to outside pressures for organizational curricular changes.
"The university is so many things to so many different people that it must, of necessity,
be partially at war with itself" Kerr argued in 1963 (Kerr, 1963), 9). And Logan
Wilson, addressing a Michigan State University commencement audience in 1968,
warned:
25


"If we saddle universities with responsibilities they cannot effectively
discharge, or if we shift to them burdens more logically belonging to other
agencies, we run the risk of distorting their basic purposes and splintering
their effectiveness" (Wilson, 1968), 5).
A quarter of a century later, George Douglas argued that while higher education
institutions should be responsible to the societies they serve, they should not "respond
to every popular rumble" (Douglas, 1991), 62). One popular rumble has been
interest in real world problem solving, an activity which Derek Bok warned may lead
institutions to neglect their obligation to advance human understanding and interpret the
past (Bok, 1990).
Accountability Demands And Undefined University Priorities
Disagreement over university priorities has prompted calls for greater
accountability and responsiveness. But the terms "accountability" and
"responsiveness" are defined differently by university stakeholders and constituents.
Until these groups agree on higher educations role and mission they are unlikely to
agree on standards forjudging the attainment of either value. Clearly defined missions
and objectives are needed to satisfy stakeholders and protect higher education
institutions from unreasonable criticism (Millard, 1991). In addition, legislators must
determine how much oversight is needed to ensure public university accountability.
The challenge is to determine which forms of government intervention are required to
protect the public's interest and which actually reduce institutional effectiveness.
26


CHAPTER 2
ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIVENESS:
PRIMARY DEMOCRATIC AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION VALUES
In their treatise on the formation of an American political system, the authors of
The Federalist Papers detailed requirements and conditions necessary for the growth
of a democratic society. The writers argued educated citizens were needed to direct the
democratic society; and accountable and responsive political leaders were advanced as
essential for the development of trust and legitimacy (Madison, Hamilton & Jay, 1987).
Indeed, the American political system is based on the premise that government will be
"egalitarian, participatory, open, non coercive, and responsive to the demands of
individuals and groups" (Huntington 1981,41).
The discipline of public administration, developed to carry out the work of the
U.S. political system, also has an established set of values which includes
accountability and responsiveness. These values are framed by a legal system which
seeks to achieve order, establish political legitimacy, and increase social and
organizational capacity (Nonet & Selznick, 1978). This chapter will explore the
concepts of accountability and responsiveness in the context of state government
attempts to use the rule of law to monitor and influence university activity.
27


Accountability Considered
In order to demonstrate accountability, public entities are expected to pursue the
values of economy, efficiency, effectiveness and equity (Appleby, 1952; Cooper,
1982; Rohr, 1978; Rosenbloom, 1989; Rouse, 1993).
Economy refers to the purchase of organizational inputs at the lowest possible
cost. In a police department, inputs would include such things as police cars,
weapons, investigative equipment, and employees. In a university, inputs refer
primarily to human resources.
Efficiency is achieved when a minimum of inputs are used to produce maximum
outputs. In a public library, efficiency is achieved when the greatest number of patrons
can be serviced by the fewest possible employees in the least amount of time. In a
university, efficiency may be achieved when the greatest number of students complete
course work in the shortest period of time with the assistance of instructors who teach
the greatest number of courses.
Effectiveness refers to achieving organizational goals. Effectiveness in a
corrections system may be achieved when a substantial decrease in recidivism is
realized. In a university, effectiveness is demonstrated when the institution
demonstrates accomplishment of its defined mission. This may include demonstrated
competence in a field of study, high alumni satisfaction rates, or acceptable employment
placement rates.
Equity, a more ambiguous concept, refers to notions of justice and fairness in
the provision of services. In a university, equity might be achieved in athletics when
women and men have comparable opportunities to participate in team sports. This is an
example of the equal opportunity standard of equity (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991).
28


Using an equal outcomes standard (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991), equity might be
achieved when university services and structures permit differently abled students to
graduate at the same rates as their able-bodied counterparts.
John Rouse has asserted that economy, efficiency and effectiveness exist on a
continuum (Rouse, 1993). Figure 2.1 illustrates that economy is determined by inputs
while effectiveness is demonstrated by outcomes. Missing from this model, however,
are the values of equity and responsiveness. One might argue that equity can be
incorporated into the ways in which services are provided, and responsiveness
incorporated into determinations about which services are provided. Accountability is
achieved when the entire processstarting with inputs and ending with outcomesis
conducted in a manner acceptable to those judging the organization. With this
assumption, accountability becomes a guiding framework for public sector activity.
Unfortunately, the activities and systems required for organizations to be accountable
often conflict which those required to be responsive. Discussions about this conflict
are complicated by confusion over what the two terms truly mean.
Figure 2.1: The Relationship Between Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness in
Service Provision

Inputs1* . Activities^ Outputs * ^Outcomes*
(Resources) (Processes) (Services provided) (Impacts)
Economy Efficiency Efficiency Effectiveness
Relation Relation Relation Relation
Note: From: "Resource and Performance Management in Public Service
Organizations" Rouse, John, 1993, p. 63.
29


The Harper Collins Dictionary of American Government and Politics defines
"accountability" as:
"(1) The extent to which one must answer to higher authority legal or
organizationalor one's action in society at large or within one's
organization. (2) An obligation for keeping accurate records or property,
documents or funds" (Shaffitz 1992, 4).
This definition incorporates the notion of hierarchical reporting relationships and
attention to material and fiscal resources.
In his work, "Ensuring the Accountability of Public Officials," Gerald Caiden
wrote that to be "accountable," one must:
"answer for one's responsibilities, to report, to explain, to give reasons,
to respond, to assume obligations, to render a reckoning and to submit
to an outside or external judgment" (Caiden 1989,25).
Rouse advanced a similar definition when he wrote that "accountability" is:
"the demonstration to someone else of success or achievement. It
involves revealing, explaining and justifying what one does, or has
done, or how one discharges one's responsibilities "(Rouse 1993, 63).
In both of these definitions, the focus is on outside evaluation and the need to be able to
defend actions or activities.
Samuel Paul defined accountability a bit differently in his work, "Strengthening
Public Service Accountability: A Conceptual Framework," in which he argued that
"accountability" refers to:
"holding individuals and organizations responsible for performance
measured as objectively as possible" (Paul 1991,2).
While this definition appears to be clear and concise, it, too, is imperfect, for not all
30


performance can be measured objectively. Furthermore, behavior as well as
performance (or means as well as ends) is important to many who judge agencies and
individuals.
Day and Klein described" accountability" as:
"making those with delegated authority answerable for carrying out
agreed tasks according to agreed criteria of performance "(Day & Klein
1987, 2).
This definition is a bit clearer as it speaks to what will be accomplished as well as how
it will be accomplished. The values of equity and responsiveness, while not implicitly
included, could be incorporated into this definition.
All five of these definitions contend that accountability is a reactive rather than
proactive activity as they indicate the obligation to seek outside approval through
reporting mechanisms and justification. These definitions also reflect the broad nature
of accountability. "To answer to a higher authority" is a great deal more vague than a
mandate to keep "accurate records or property, documents or funds." In the former, an
agency or official may be called upon to be responsive to external or higher level
demands. In the latter, accountability is merely a function of good record keeping.
Other definitions point to accountability as a tool for increasing citizen
confidence or organizational legitimacy (Rosen, 1989). Jay Shafritz's definition of
"administrative accountability" is even loftier as it associates accountability with the
maintenance of democratic value systems. According to Shafritz, "administrative
accountability" describes:
"The concept that officials are answerable for general notions of
democracy and morality as well as for specific legal mandates" (Shafritz
1992, 10).
This definition is reminiscent of that advanced by Pollitt and Harrison which described
31


'political accountability" as justification of decisions:
"in terms of the values which are currently supposed to characterize
stewardship of the citizens' interests" (Pollitt & Harrison 1993, 3).
Here again, one may assume inclusion of the values of equity and responsiveness.
Accountability without attention to responsiveness and equity is insufficient for public
organization legitimacy. While organizations must document that they are performing
their activities appropriately, they must also demonstrate that the activities themselves
are appropriate. This distinction points to a higher level of accountability which
strongly advances the notion of responsiveness.
Definitions of accountability advanced by Shafritz, Pollitt and Harrison, and
Dubnick and Romzek reflect the current movement in state government circles to make
higher education institutions and officials more accountable. Under this
conceptualization, higher education institutions are expected to conform to legal
mandatesanything from federal Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines to state
statutesas well as "general notions of democracy" which may include responsiveness
to external groups, and efforts to permit public participation in decision making.
All of these definitions point to the difficulty of establishing the parameters of
"accountability." In his analysis of public agency accountability, Kearns argued that
the term is:
"inherently ill structured. It is laden with competing assumptions and
complicated by external factors that make the notion of accountability the
ultimate 'moving target'"(Keams 1994, 187).
In an effort to slow that "moving target," several theorists have attempted to
define the concept by describing different types of accountability. These different
categories include bureaucratic, legal, professional, moral, political and client
32


accountability.
Bureaucratic accountability refers to the internal organizational process
whichoften includes hierarchical relationships between the centers of responsibility and
the areas where commands are acted upon (Jabbra & Dwivedi, 1989). Relationships
within this context are based on supervision and oversight (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991)
and rely on clear lines of authority, strict subordination, a limited span of control for
employees, formal disciplinary systems and the encouragement of loyalty
(Rosenbloom, 1989). This form of accountability typically involves rules, procedures,
and other means of internal control, and assumes that efficiency, effectiveness and
economy are of primary importance (Sayre, 1978).
Legal accountability, based on law and contracts (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991),
relates actions to procedures established by the legislative or judicial process (Jabbra &
Dwivedi, 1989; Lawton & Rose, 1991).
Professional accountability refers to the need for public service professionals to
balance their professional codes with the best interests of the public at large (Dubnick &
Romzek, 1991; Jabbra & Dwivedi, 1989) and is judged by peer reference (Lawton &
Rose, 1991). Moral accountability refers to the expectation that individuals will act
morally and ethically when conducting public service (Jabbra & Dwivedi, 1989).
Political accountability, refers to matters of legitimacy and organizational
survival (Jabbra & Dwivedi, 1989). Political accountability, evaluated by an external
audience (Lawton & Rose, 1991), is based on the responsiveness of representatives to
their constituents (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991). This type of accountability is similar to
client accountability which refers to consumer responsiveness (Lawton & Rose, 1991).
Because this dissertation examines accountability in public institutions, the Dubnick and
33


Figure 2.2
Basis of Relationships as Defined bv Type of Accountability System
Type of -Accountability System Analogous ^Relationship Basis of Relationship
Bureaucratic Superior/subordinate Supervision
Legal Lawmaker/Law enforcer Contract
Professional Lavperson/expert Responsibility
Political Constituent/representative Responsiveness
Note: From American Public Administration: Politics and the Management of Expectations.
Dubnick, Melvin J. and Barbara S. Romzek, 1991,82.
Figure 2.3 : Degrees of Control in Forms of Internal and External Accountability
Internal External Accountability Accountability
High Degree of Control < ** x Bureaucratic Legal
Low Degree of Control Professional Political
Note: From: American Public Administration: Politics and the Management of
Expectations. Dubnick, M. and Romzek, B., 1991,72.
34


Romzek definition (1991) coupling client accountability and political accountability will
be used.
Political accountability, which uses perceptions of responsiveness as a means
to judge performance, focuses less on how activities are performed but more on
whether or not the activities are meeting constituent expectations. This form of
accountability employs legislative oversight, budgetary control, rotation in office,
representation and public participation, "whistle blowing," and efforts to eliminate
conflict of interest. This model may easily apply to public universities because just as
citizens cast their votes based on whether candidates have responded to what are
believed to be appropriate concerns, taxpayers and legislative leaders may pledge
support to a university based on whether it has performed according to expectations.
Because public universities are increasingly called upon to be more accountable,
which forms of accountability are most appropriate? Should institutions focus on
bureaucratic accountability and increase rules and procedures? Should they rely on
professional accountability in hopes that faculty members and administrators will use
their best judgement to meet societal expectations? Or should public universities focus
on political accountability with its emphasis on public responsiveness? Furthermore,
should public universities even be given a choice in this matter? Should they instead be
more closely monitored by outside forces?
The debate over which form of accountability is most effective was crystallized
in the 1940's when political scientists Carl Friedrich and Herman Finer debated the
merits of each approach. Friedrich stated in 1940:
"the responsible administrator is one who is responsive to these two
dominant factors: technical knowledge and popular sentiment"
35


(Friedrich 1940, 339).
Friedrich contended that political accountability, control external to an organization, will
not guarantee responsible conduct. He argued that internal controls that
emphasize the values of justice and honor and citizen responsiveness are more likely to
create a responsive bureaucracy. Finer's retort was published a year later and asserted
that external accountability was more likely than internal accountability to ensure
responsible administrative conduct. He criticized Friedrichs lack of attention to
administrative safeguards writing: "sooner or later, there is an abuse of power when
external punitive controls are lacking" (Finer 1941,335).
The debate between internal and external control is more than theoretical. In the
interest of efficiency and effectiveness, one must question the value of each approach.
Until the 1980s, state legislatures relied on internal accountabilityfaculty governance,
peer reviews and accreditation to keep universities in check. But in the 1980s, states
grew suspicious of the validity of internal control and began imposing external
accountability requirements (Hines, 1988). This approach was criticized eloquently by
Russell Edgerton, former President of the American Association of Higher Education
who wrote:
"Rather than move in with a system of bureaucratic accountability, states
should be insisting that universities have in place appropriate
mechanisms of professional accountability...Bureaucratic accountability
is a state agency asking for data on faculty teaching loads. Reinforcing
professional accountability is a state agency asking for evidence that the
faculty have established appropriate mechanisms for the peer review of
teaching at least as vigorously as they have for the peer review of
research" (Flexner 1968, 6).
Edgerton argued that bureaucratic means may give the appearance of accountability, but
internal strategies are more likely to result in real change. These internal strategies,
36


with their emphasis on professional accountability, may create an organizational culture
that encourages individual responsibility and accountability rather than a culture that
simply reacts to outside demands for information.
Consensus about whether internal or external accountability efforts are more
effective is unlikely. Some have argued that the debate over internal and external
accountability within the context of higher education is healthy and might well force
universities to be more responsive to their publics (Dressel & Faricy, 1972). Others
have expressed concern that state encroachments have the potential to destroy university
quality (Enarson, 1981). Each side of the debate reflects the ongoing tension that exists
in a democracy when the appropriate size and activities of government institutions are
debated. Some will argue that universities are capable of monitoring themselves, while
others will assert that external monitoring is essential to ensure that is the public is
being served adequately and taxpayer dollars are being spent judiciously.
Responsiveness Considered
Regardless of which accountability approach one takesinternal or external,
bureaucratic, political, or professionalreconciling the often conflicting values of
accountability and responsiveness remains problematic. The concept of responsive
administration, which may be measured by the degree to which a body responds to
preferences or expectations expressed by consumers, constituents or elected leaders, is
related to political accountability (Dubnick & Romzek, 1991) and is increasingly
important to defining institutional legitimacy. But while responsiveness may lead to
political accountability, it may also reduce bureaucratic accountability.
This is problematic because we expect our government agencies to be effective
37


and efficient; but we also want them to listen to us, to respond to us, to take our needs
or desire seriously. Responsiveness is reduced when an organization insists on limited
spans of control as is typical of the often efficient but usually unresponsive bureaucratic
approach. As a result, this approach has been subject to attack by those calling for a
"new public administration"a movement which calls for responsiveness, social
equity and greater citizen participation in the workings of government (Frederickson,
1980). Those who are critical of the political approach challenge the effectiveness of
this approach asserting that elected leaders are not capable of managing enterprises and
that representation and public participation tend to benefit those who are most powerful
and organized (Haque, 1994; Nonet & Selznick, 1978).
Listening to or eliciting feedback from constituent groups, processing the
information, and implementing and evaluating suggestions may be costly and time
consuming. However, failing to do so may be equally costly as institutional legitimacy
is challenged. These philosophical issues, while somewhat lofty in nature, are relevant
to current debates within public university communities. One might ask, "How do calls
for increased productivity and mandated reports translate into increased
responsiveness? And "who are the constituents and representatives in a political
accountability system in which governors, legislators, and universities are the major
players?"
Legislative constituents are the individuals who tend to raise concerns about how
universities are managed and led, and it is those constituents to which legislators must
be responsive. When a community leader and political constituent calls on legislators to
demand action which will improve graduation rates for the ethnic minority group that
the leader represents, the legislator may call upon the university to produce reports
38


which document in enrollment, retention, and graduation rate trends by gender and
ethnicity. When a major employer complains that the state's workforce lacks the skills
to compete for entry level jobs in high tech companies, a team of legislators may call
upon universities to develop new programs and to document their effectiveness in
preparing graduates for careers in science and industry. This notion of responsiveness
in higher education is critical to our analysis of accountability because legislators are
calling on institutions to justify their activities and expenditures in response to the
concerns, needs, and desires of their constituents. But the debate over which strategies
to employ is complicated by a lack of agreement regarding which stakeholders and
interests should be served and how much say they should have in institutional activities
(Seabury, 1975). This issue is made even more perplexing by the fact that we want
both efficiency and responsiveness, but many efforts designed to increase efficiency
tend to sacrifice institutional responsiveness and vice versa (Fessler, 1991).
Furthermore, institutional efforts to be responsive are easily thwarted by rigid and
repressive legal structures (Nonet & Selznick, 1978).
McConnell (1987) has suggested that without agreement regarding an institution's
goals, mission, and clientele, developing standards forjudging institutional
accountability is not possible. Robert Atwell, president of the American Council on
Education, warned that we must distinguish between what society wants and what
society needs (Atwell, 1993). Unfortunately, given the vociferous nature of many
constituent groups, this is no easy task.
Huntington argued in the mid-1970s that "some of the problems in governance in
the United States today stem from an excess of democracy" (Huntington, 1975, 113).
As controversial as Huntingtons statement may seem, it may be interpreted to mean
39


that when all citizens have their say in the running of government and its agencies
(public universities included), and all voices carry equal weight, little can be
accomplished. Huntington's assertions were seconded by George Gordon who
asserted that we lack a clear understanding of how to achieve accountability. While our
political system was designed to make government and public entities accountable 'to
the people' the evolution of the notion has been to try to make all government
accountable to all people. It is difficult to see how this can be done, which led Gordon
to remark: "if officials are accountable to everybody, they are accountable to nobody!"
(Gordon 1986,588). It is apparent therefore, that university attempts to be responsive
are far from straight forward. Certainly it is much easier for a university to announce
what it will do, than it is to respond to a multitude of constituent expectations.
Market forces and endowments permitting, private universities can more easily
assert their market niche (i.e., student population target) and product line (i.e.,
programs of study and range of community involvement) than can public universities.
The "publicness" of public universities mandates that these institutions attend to the
concerns and expectations of public fundors and tax payers. Responsiveness to these
concerns and expectations is necessary for institutional legitimacy.
The public movement for responsiveness in government was borne of citizen
frustration with complex and impersonal public agencies and institutions (Kaufman,
1969). But deciding which group merits the most responsiveness is problematic
because institutions cannot be equally responsive to majority and minority expectations.
As a result, public organizations attempt to balance the expectations of elected
representatives who represent the majority will and the demands of special interest
groups who represent important minority interests (Frederickson, 1980). This
40


balancing act places universities in a tenuous position because those making the
demands may lack the institutional understanding necessary to see the long-range
impact of their desires (Huntington, 1975).
We must acknowledge the tension between citizen demands and public agency
responsibility (Levine, Peters & Thompson, 1990). Responsiveness requires agencies
to acknowledge citizen requests, and responsibility requires agency officials to adhere
to policies, procedures, and institutional charters. And while we may not fully endorse
Huntington's assertion that in many cases expertise and experience should override
claims of democracy (Huntington, 1975), we must be mindful of the fact that those
administering universities or other governmental agencies tend to have some special
expertise.
Strategic Accountability: Responsiveness-Driven Accountability
This chapter has so far defined "accountability" and "responsiveness." The
next step is to determine how accountability and responsiveness might be achieved.
Three models offer guidance: Paul Light's accountability continuum, Kevin Kearns'
anticipatory/positioning accountability, and Philippe Nonet and Philip Selznick's legal
continuum.
Light's model, developed to analyze the activities of inspector generals in
improving federal government management, describes a continuum which begins with
compliance accountability, moves to performance accountability, and ends with
capacity-based accountability (Light, 1993).
Compliance accountability, the classic form of bureaucratic accountability, is
achieved through rules, procedures, tight hierarchical structures, and limited spans of
41


Figure 2.4:
Aspects of Light's Accountability Continuum
Ty pe of Accountability
Characteristic - Jg Compliance Accountability Performance Accountability Capacity-Based Accountability
Primary mechanism Rules Incentives Technologies
Role of oversight Detection and enforcement Evaluation and bench marking Analysis and design
Durability of effects Short-term Intermediate Long-term
Note: From: Monitoring Government. Light, Paul, The Brookings Institution 1992,14.
42


control. Robert Behn asserted that compliance accountability is employed because we
lack knowledge about how to motivate people to do the right things, therefore, "we
resort to a second-best approach: constrain them from doing anything wrong" (Behn
1995, 321).
Performance accountability is achieved through incentives which reward the
attainment of specified objectives. This form of accountability typically employs
various baseline measures and rewards progress and punishes failure. The final
component of Light's continuum is capacity-based accountability, a process which
focuses on organizational systems and inputs, and often relies on the provision of
funds to support new management, equipment, or systems necessary to support an
environment conducive to quality outputs. This form of accountability, according to
Light, promotes long-term positive change, while compliance and performance
accountability produce only short-term results (Light, 1993).
Compliance accountability uses negative sanctions ("do this, or else") to achieve
results, while performance accountability uses positive reinforcement ("do this if you
want a salary bonus"). In capacity-based accountability, rewards are offered first in an
effort to facilitate rather than to reward achievement of performance objectives ("here
are the tools you need to get the job done"). Capacity-based accountability is a more
congenial approach to accountability because it assumes that given the appropriate
people, tools, and organizational structures, organizations will perform according to
expectations. This model relies heavily on the notion of professional accountability and
is reminiscent of the theory advanced by total quality management theorist W. Edward
Deming who argued that systems, not people, are responsible for organizational failure
(Deming, 1986).
43


Differences in Light's three accountability models can be explored using a
hypothetical governmental mandate to "increase the use of technology in the
classroom." A compliance accountability approach would mandate a specified increase
in technology use, demand reports to document progress, and penalize institutions that
failed to perform to expectations. The performance approach would stipulate a
specified increase in technology use and reward institutions with larger budgets or
bonuses for faculty members who introduced technology in their classrooms. A
capacity-based accountability strategy would provide the funding necessary to provide
the equipment, training and instructors necessary to realize the technology increase.
The capacity-based approach assumes that individuals or organizations wish to
succeed, but are simply limited by resources or hampered by burdensome structures.
Light was quick to point out, however, that wholesale rejection of compliance
and performance accountability is not advised. Instead, their limited application is
consistent with a capacity-based accountability approach.
One of the most compelling reasons to accept Light's rejection of exclusive
reliance on compliance accountability is that this approach, with its rules, restrictions,
and cumbersome paperwork, gives only the appearance of tight control. Employees
who work under such systems may react to tight control by engaging in costly
sabotage, theft, or fraud in an effort to seek informal compensation for extra paperwork
and increased scrutiny (Light, 1993). This form of accountability is especially onerous
in a university setting where professional codes of conduct are believed to be more
important than external monitoring requirements.
While Light's model offers a novel approach to achieving accountability, it fails
to advise organizations about how they might move away from compliance and toward
44


capacity-based. Kearns' "anticipatory/positioning accountability" model offers needed
guidance.
Kearns (1994) asserts that anticipatory/positioning accountability is one of four
ways organizations can be accountable to their publics. An institution pursuing
anticipatory/position accountability is proactive rather than reactive because it attempts
to influence the types of standards that will be imposed upon it. This is a markedly
different than the other accountability mechanisms described by Kearns.
Compliance accountability, for example, is a reactive mode which calls for the
imposition of standards of performance from external entities. In a university setting,
this might be illustrated by legislators mandating increases in faculty course loads.
Negotiated accountability, also reactive in nature, refers to expectations that
institutions will respond to changing societal expectations, many of which have yet to
be clearly articulated or defined. Kearns suggests "giving back to the community" is a
typical slogan associated with negotiated accountability. In a university setting,
negotiated accountability might refer to the provision of pro bono service to a state in
need of economic development assistance in return for good will from government
entities.
Bok (1990) argued that universities suffer when they engage in negotiated
accountability because responding to nebulous and often changing expectations results
in a hodgepodge of new programs. And the infrastructure necessary to respond to
often fleeting expectations, may become an entrenched component of a university's
structure, thereby draining resources necessary to respond to future pressing issues.
Professional/discretionary accountability is more proactive in nature and refers
to internal efforts to establish controls and standards. This form of accountability may
45


refer to the establishment of internal governance groups or management systems
designed to improve processes. In a university setting, this might be exemplified by
strengthening a faculty governance organization or establishing a problem-focused task
force.
Anticipatory/positioning accountability will be most appealing to public
universities, but this approach requires institutions to be strong enough to shape their
own destinies. This strength springs from solid, focused missions and strategically
determined constituent groups. Unlike negotiated accountability,
anticipatory/positioning accountability permits universities to respond to those societal
needs which the institution believes are strategically related to its mission rather than
those which are currently fashionable or politically popular.
Anticipatory/positioning accountability is an appealing approach for universities
Figure 2.5: Types of Accountability bv Internal Response System
Mandate for External Control .
Implicit (DeFacto) Explicit (DeJure)
Internal Reactive Negotiated Compliance
Response accountability accountability
System Proactive Professional/ discretionary accountability Anticipatory/ positioning accountability
Note: From "The Strategic Management of Accountability in Nonprofit
Organizations: An Analytical Framework. Kearns, Kevin, 1994,188.
46


that may be reluctant to accept the imposition of external standards or to provide
performance information on factors deemed by university representatives not to be
meaningful. This form of accountabihty provides universities and legislators an
opportunity to work together to craft evaluation mechanisms. This form of
accountability is consistent with "responsive law," a component of Nonet and
Selznick's legal continuum. This continuum, which is conceptually similar to Light's
accountability continuum, includes "repressive law," "autonomous law" and
"responsive or purposive law" (Nonet & Selznick, 1978). Figure 2.7 demonstrates
that repressive and autonomous law are similar in intent to compliance accountability
and responsive law is more like performance and capacity-based accountability.
Repressive law is most useful in establishing order; rule-oriented autonomous
law is most useful in establishing legitimacy, and responsive law is most useful in
establishing organizational competence. Repressive law demands compliance,
autonomous law requires attention to policies and procedures, and responsive law
facilitates social participation in the rule making process (Nonet & Selznick 1978, 16).
Responsive law, much like capacity-based accountability, may feel difficult and
unfamiliar to lawmakers. But this form of law, which seeks to synthesize and
incorporate public expectations into the rule making process in a way that facilitates
achievement of social aspirations, is an appropriate approach to shaping public
university activity. The shrinking share of public support awarded higher education,
the unique faculty governance structures that shape universities, and the expanding and
diverse constituent expectations facing these institutions argue for a new approach to
working with lawmakers. Replacing laws which describe what may not be done or
how things must be done with laws that facilitate the achievement of societal objectives
47


Figure 2.6:
Selected Characteristics of Nonet and Selznick's Three Types of Law
Repressive Law4 Autonomous Law f ; ; ResponsIveLaw
Ends of Law Order Legitimacy Competence
Rules Crude and detailed but only weakly binding on rule makers Elaborate; held to bind rulers as well as ruled Subordinated to principle and policy
Participation Submissive compliance; criticism as disloyalty Access limited by established procedures Access enlarged by integration of legal and social advocacy
Note: From Law and Society in Transition: Toward Responsive Law, Nonet, Phillipe and
Philip Selznick, Harper Colophon Books 1978,16.
48


or which facilitate performance improvements will enable public universities to more
vigorously and innovatively pursue their academic, research, and service missions.
Universities should work with government leaders to negotiate how responsive
laws should be created. In doing so, university leaders must simultaneously create
mechanisms for soliciting, evaluating, and implementing community expectations while
explaining why responding to every constituent request is costly and largely
unworkable. Given the higher education climate in the mid 1990's, Kearns'
anticipatory/positioning approach is unlikely to result in legislative agreement to rely on
Light's model of capacity-based accountability. However, by acknowledging concerns
about university accountability and seeking agreement on performance goals and
measurements, a more productive approach than mere compliance, public universities
will be in stronger position to argue for less government control over process and more
government commitment to the pursuit of higher education ideals. Once institutions
demonstrate achievement of performance objectives, and create stronger relationships
with constituents and policy makers, procedure- and reporting-oriented laws which
have characterized state government involvement in higher education since the mid
1980s may be replaced with more progressive and purposive efforts.
49


Figure 2.7: The Relationship Between Light's Accountability Continuum and Nonet and Selznick's Legal Continuum
Light's Compliance Performance Capacity-based
Accountability Accountability Accountability Accountability
Continuum :^*f§
- ; y<>~, >
* \ *
Nonet and Repressive ^ Autonomous ( Responsive ill *i
Selznick's Law^ky^^i Law Law
U\ Legal
o Continuum


CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This chapter will describe the research methodology employed to collect and
analyze higher education accountability requirements and the factors believed to prompt
their enactment. Specifically, this chapter will describe the procedures used to:
Determine the prevalence of 16 strategies that the 50 states have employed to
increase accountability in public universities;
Determine perceptions of state legislators and university administrator regarding the
effectiveness of and administrative burden posed by these 16 accountability
requirements;
Test the hypothesis that mandated accountability efforts are strongly correlated with
legislative distrust of higher education institutions and a lack of consensus between
legislators and higher education leaders regarding the appropriate mission of public
higher education institutions;
Test the hypothesis that state fiscal trends and the partisan composition of state
legislatures and the governor's office influence the enactment of accountability
measures; and
Create an inventory of approaches utilized by universities to demonstrate
responsiveness.
This study employed three research approaches: content analysis, survey
research, and telephone interviews.
51


Content Analysis
Content analysis of all 1993 and 1994 issues of The Chronicle of Higher
Education was conducted in order to create an inventory of state government mandated
accountability requirements and institutional efforts to increase constituent
responsiveness. To expand this inventory and confirm published reports, a sample of
state statutes related to higher education was analyzed. To do this, a random numbers
table was used to select 25 states. All statutes related to higher education accountability
in these 25 states were reviewed and categorized. Because state-level accountability
efforts are not limited to statutory language, reliance on a review of state statutes was
determined to be an inadequate process for creating a state-by-state inventory of
accountability requirements. Therefore, a survey tool was developed, in part, to create
a complete inventory of higher education accountability requirements. Sixteen of the
most common strategies gleaned from the statute and higher education report analysis
were included in survey instruments.
To collect data related to factors believed to influence the enactment of higher
education accountability requirements, U.S. Department of Commerce state
government finance reports were used to collect information related to state spending
trends for corrections, public K-12 education, public higher education and public
welfare programs. The Book of the States series was used to analyze the partisan
composition of state goverment.
Subjects
Two subject pools were targeted for this study: university administrators
52


employed by public doctoral granting institutions and the chairs of state legislative
higher education committees. University administrators were identified by using the
1994 Higher Education Directory to create a list of public university campuses that
provided general and liberal arts education and offered doctoral programs. Campuses
oriented primarily toward a professional academic discipline, e.g., medical or allied
health schools, were excluded from the sample. A total of 182 public doctorate
granting university campuses were identified (see Appendix A).
Recognizing that university administrators may have different attitudes and
knowledge about legislative relations and government requirements based on their roles
within their institutions, three types of officials were targeted. The first group included
the chief operating officer, usually given the title "President" or "Chancellor." The
second group included the chief academic officer, the individual who directs the
institution's academic program. This individual typically assumes the title "Provost,"
"Vice President for Academic Affairs," or "Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs."
The third group of university administrators included the chief financial officer, the
individual who directs an institution's business and financial affairs. "Vice President
for Administration," "Vice President for Business Affairs," or Vice Chancellor for
Business and Finance" are common titles for this position.
As 48 of these three position types were listed as "vacant" at the time of the
survey mailing, 498 individuals were targeted for the survey mailing
State legislators who served as state house or senate higher education committee
chairs during the 1993-94 session and were still in office in 1995 composed the second
target population. Individuals with this leadership experience were judged to be most
knowledgeable about mandated higher education accountability requirements and the
53


political environment affecting higher education in their states.
The 1993 Handbook of State Legislators was used to create a list of the 1993-
94 chairs of each state's house and senate education committees. The Council of State
Government's State Elective Officials and the Legislatures 1995 was cross-referenced
to determine which of these chairs were no longer in office. A total of 74 legislative
higher education chairs were selected for inclusion in this study.
Instrumentation
Two survey instruments were created to collect information from the subject
pools. One instrument was developed for university administrators and 50 modified
versions of this tool were developed for state legislators.
University Administrator Instrument
The first section of the instrument developed for university administrators asked
these individuals to respond to questions about university and legislative relationships,
agreement between legislatures and universities on university missions, and perceived
legislative concerns about higher education accountability. Because not all
accountability requirements are required by statute, the second section asked
administrators to note whether their institution was required to comply with any of 16
accountability requirements. The requirements represented a range of financial,
academic and enrollment-related activities gleaned from conducting a content analysis of
state statutes and higher education journals and reports.
State attempts to monitor institutional performance were analyzed by asking
respondents about required faculty productivity reports, creation of accountability task
54


forces, student outcomes assessment requirements, English language certification
requirements for teaching assistants, institutional accountability performance reports,
enrollment, retention and graduation reports, and performance-based funding.
Efforts to decrease institutions' abilities to generate and spend money were
examined by asking about faculty salary restrictions, tuition ceilings, and restrictions on
how revenue may be generated.
State efforts to manage enrollment, retention and graduation efforts were
analyzed by asking respondents whether their institution was required limit enrollment,
abide by graduation time limits, or receive funding based progress in enrolling,
retaining, and graduating minority students.
State efforts to manage personnel issues were examined by asking about
mandated restrictions on sabbaticals; and efforts to change the mission and/or activities
of higher education institutions were explored by analyzing requirements to change
institutional admissions requirements and university missions.
Certainly one could argue that some strategies are designed for more than one
purpose. Faculty productivity reports, for example, could be required to monitor
performance and to manage graduation efforts (lack of faculty availability could be
related to insufficient required course availability, for example). However, these
divisions are offered to demonstrate that survey tools were designed to explore a broad
range of accountability strategies.
The next section asked administrators to use a five point scale to evaluate the
perceived effectiveness and administrative burden of the accountability measures
required in their states. The final section asked respondents to list other strategies their
state had mandated to increase higher education accountability, strategies their
55


institution had employed to increase responsiveness, whether their governing board
was elected or appointed, and which activities they believed to be appropriate university
priorities.
State Legislator Instrument
Modified versions of the university administrators' survey were created for state
legislators (Appendices F-H). As the university administrators survey was designed to
be mailed first in order to create an inventory of accountability and responsiveness
strategies, the section which asked respondents to note which accountability measures
were required was omitted from legislators surveys. Instead, these individuals were
asked to evaluate the effectiveness and the perceived administrative burden of the
accountability measures required of public doctoral institutions in their state, select the
teaching, research and service activities which they believe should be public doctoral
university priorities, and to comment on which higher education institutions are most
responsive to state residents. Because these survey tools were state specific, 50
different surveys were created.
Validity and Reliability
In order to test the validity of the survey components, eight administrators from
the University of Colorado at Denver were asked to describe their understanding of
each question. Questions and terminology were modified in response to reviewer
comments.
Reliability was more difficult to assess because of the subjective nature of many
questions. Most problematic was the section of the university administrators' survey
56


designed to create an inventory of accountability requirements. Some institutional
representatives differed in their responses to which accountability strategies were
required. State statute review and follow-up phone calls revealed that this was typically
related to lack of familiarity with legislation outside the respondents' professional
purview. For example, chief financial officers were less familiar with academic
accountability requirements than were chief executive officers and chief academic
officers. This finding confirmed the importance of surveying three occupational groups
within each institutions.
Survey Procedures
The university administrator survey, designed in part to create an inventory of
accountability strategies, was mailed first. During the month of December, 1994,498
university administrators were mailed a packet which included a cover letter, a survey
instrument, and a postage-paid return envelope (Appendices B-E).
Survey responses were entered into a 4D First software database and analyzed
to determine which strategies were required in each state. If respondents from the same
institution differed in their responses to the section about accountability requirements,
the discrepancy was noted so that follow-up phone calls could be made to clarify
responses. These responses were used to create state-specific state legislator surveys
which were mailed during the month of February. Responses from these surveys were
also entered into a 4D First database.
During the months of May-August 1995, telephone interviews to clarify and
expand survey responses were conducted with university administrators and state
higher education governing board representatives.
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Data Analysis
Several approaches were used to analyze the data collected. The prevalence of
the 16 state-mandated accountability measures and 10 responsiveness strategies was
determined by tabulating survey responses. Each state's accountability climate,
relationships between universities and state legislatures, and agreement between
universities and state legislators regarding institutional missions was assessed by
averaging institutional responses provided by survey responses.
Perceptions by state legislators and university administrators regarding
accountability strategy effectiveness and administrative burden were analyzed by
running descriptive statistics and by conducting T tests for statistically significant
comparison of means and Mann Whitney tests for statistically significant comparison
on medians. Minitab statistical software was used for this analysis.
Factors influencing the enactment of accountability requirements were analyzed
in the following ways. First, the number of accountability strategies required in each
state was entered into a Minitab statistical software database. Next, mean state survey
responses regarding each state's accountability climate, relationships between
universities and state legislatures, and agreement between universities and state
legislators regarding institutional missions were entered. Third, differences between
1983 and 1992 in each state's expenditures on corrections, public K-12 education,
public higher education, and public welfare programs as a percentage of total
expenditures were entered into the Minitab database. Fourth, each state's general fund
balance at the end of 1990 was entered. Fifth, the percentage of republicans in each
state's house and senate between 1983 and 1993 was entered. Finally, the party of
58


each state's governor during the period of 1983 to 1993 was entered. Correlation
coefficients and regression equations were run for each variable.
Limitations and Deliminations
States differ markedly in the number and range of accountability strategies they
impose on public doctoral granting institutions. While an assessment of the full range
of accountability strategies would have been preferable, this study limited the analysis
to 16 measures so as not to overwhelm subjects with an inordinately lengthy survey. A
longer survey may have resulted in a lower response rate. This study also used the
number of accountability strategies required in each state as a proxy for the amount of
concern legislators have expressed about higher education accountability. It must be
noted that this is not a perfect measure and is but one strategy for ascertaining the
degree of egislative concern or dissatisfaction.
In addition, financial considerations required the limitation of survey subjects
and restricted multiple follow-up mailings. And, while the survey results yielded
interesting and reliable findings among state legislative education chairs, a broader
survey to include a wider sample of state legislators may have provided richer results.
59


CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS
Response Rates
Of the 498 university administrators mailed surveys, 286 returned completed
instruments for a response rate of 57 percent. At least one survey was returned from
each of the 50 states (100%) and from 159 (87%) of the 182 institutions in the survey
sample. Surveys were returned by 87 (49%) chief executive officers or their designees;
94 (57%) surveys were returned from financial officers or their designees; and 105
(68%) instruments were returned by academic affairs officers or their designees. Of the
74 legislators mailed surveys, 27 (36%) returned completed surveys. At least one
survey was returned from 21 (42%) of the 50 states. Table 4.1 describes these results.
Content Analysis Findings: The Most Common Accountability Strategies
The states have employed a number of strategies to increase accountability in
higher education institutions. Efforts imposed on universities by state legislatures can
be categorized into six groups. These efforts include those which monitor institutional
performance; control institution's ability to generate and spend funds; manage academic
program offerings or requirements; manage enrollment, retention and graduation
efforts; manage personnel matters; and change university missions or activities. Table
4.2 provides examples of each type of accountability strategy.
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Table 4.1:
Survey Populations and Respondents
' - -Hv Titte Number of surveys v mailed # *- - Number completed Percentage >' ; retut&Kf,i§s
Chief executive officer 179 87 (26 by a designee) 49%
Chief academic officer 155 105 (14 by a designee) 68%
Chief financial officer 164 94 (8 by a designee) 57%
State House or Senate Higher Education Committee Chair 74 27 36%
61


Table 4.2:
Strategies Employed to Increase Higher Education Accountability
Objectives
Requirement > Objective ? Strategy Employed ~ Creation of an accountability task force Enrollment, retention and graduation reports Faculty productivity reports
Monitor activity/performance Performance accountability reports Performance based funding Sabbatical reports Student outcomes assessments
Control fund generation and spending Budget and expenditure reports Enterprise restrictions Procurement restrictions Revenue generation restrictions Salary restrictions Travel restrictions Tuition ceilinas
Manage academic program offerings or requirements Academic program audits Degree standards Restrictions on academic prooram chanqes
Manage enrollment, retention and graduation efforts Admissions standards Enrollment limitations Funding based on progress in enrolling, retaining and graduating minority students Graduation time limits
Manage personnel English language certification for instructors Mandated faculty productivity levels Pay-for-performance efforts Sabbatical restrictions Tenure requirements
Change university mission/activities Require new course offerings Require new mission statement Public service requirements (e.g., economic development, adult literacy)
62


Sixteen accountability strategies commonly referenced in state statutes and
higher education journals and reports were included in the survey instrument mailed to
state legislators and university administrators.
Implementation Of The Accountability Measures
While states may require performance-based budgeting, faculty productivity
reports, or any of the other 16 accountability measures examined, significant
differences exist in each strategy's operationalization. The following section will
describe the range of approaches the states have used to define and implement each
measure.
Accountability Performance Reports
Since 1990, one of the more popular accountability strategies employed by state
legislators has been mandated performance accountability reports. While many states
require these reports, great differences exist regarding the information required.
Information required ranges from information about job placement rates, to student
satisfaction, to graduation rates for college athletes. In their literature review, Karen
Botrill and Victor M.H. Borden found 21 general categories of performance indicators
(Bottrill & Victor, 1994). Appendix I lists examples of each.
In Arkansas, the legislature expects information on job placement, job retention
and wage rates (ARK. CODE ANN § 6-61-903 (Michie Supp. 1993)) and Utah's
legislature requires information related to space utilization (UTAH CODE ANN. § 53B-
6-101 (1994). The Kentucky General Assembly requires public universities to report
annually on 14 performance standards which include:
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1. Total student credit hours produced by discipline;
2. Total number of degrees awarded by discipline;
3. Total number of contact hours of instruction produced by faculty, rank of
faculty, institution and course level;
4. A measure of faculty workload to include the hours spent in the following
activities: instruction, course preparation, non instructional student contact,
research, and public service;
5. Pass-rates on professional licensure examinations;
6. Institutional quality as assessed by follow-up surveys of alumni, parents,
clients, and employers;
7. Length of time and number of academic credits required to complete an
academic degree;
8. Enrollment, persistence, retention and graduation rates by discipline and by
race, gender and disability;
9. Student course demand analysis;
10. Classroom utilization;
11. Research and public service activities, including activities supporting
elementary and secondary education reform;
12. The number and percentage of accredited programs and the number and
percentage of programs eligible for accreditation;
13. The percent and number of students enrolled in remedial courses and the
number of students who exit remedial courses and then successfully
complete entry-level curriculum courses;
14. The number of full-time transfer-students from two-year, postsecondary
institutions and the number of these students who have successfully
completed a four-year program
(KY. REV. ST AT. §164.095 (Michie Supp. 1994)).
Florida institutions must report on performance related to instruction, research,
and public service including:
1. Academic quality (including alumni survey results, employer satisfaction
with graduates and pass rates on licensure exams);
64


2. Academic productivity (including student contact hours and comparison on
student course demand to available courses);
3. Efficiency (including the development of cost saving programs, and full-
time equivalent students in graduate programs;
4. Equity in access, retention and graduation rates (focusing on rates by
ethnicity, gender and disability; and
5. Activities related to improving the quality of life in Florida (including
inservice training activities, applied research activities and higher education
and public school system collaboration projects.
(FLA. STAT. ANN § 240.214 (West Supp. 1995)).
South Carolina institutions must report on 11 areas:
1. Number and percentage of accredited programs and programs eligible for
accreditation;
2. Number and percentage of undergraduate and graduate students who
completed their degree program;
3. Percent of lower division instructional courses taught by full-time faculty,
part-time faculty, and graduate assistants;
4. Percent and number of students enrolled in remedial courses and the number
of students exiting remedial courses and successfully completing entry-level
curriculum course;
5. Percent of graduate and upper-division undergraduate students participating
in sponsored research program;
6. Placement data on graduates;
7. Percent change in enrollment rate of students from minority groups and the
change in total number of minority students enrolled over the past five
years;
8. Percent of graduate students who receive undergraduate degrees at the
institution, within the state, within the United States, and from other
nations;
9. Number of full-time students who have transferred from a two-year,
postsecondary institution and the number of full-time students who have
transferred to a two-year, postsecondary institution;
10. Student scores on professional examinations; and
65


11. Information relating to each institution's role and mission
(S.C. Code ANN. § 59-101-35 (Law Co-op Supp. 1993).
Change In Admissions Requirements
Many institutions have been required to change their admissions standards in an
effort to increase access, redirect enrollment to other institutions, or limit enrollment.
The Colorado Legislature required the University of Colorado at Denver to adopt more
stringent admissions standards in order to further differentiate the roles of Colorado
higher education institutions (COLO. REV. STAT. § 23-20-101 (1994 Supp)).
Other states have attempted to be more inclusive in their admissions
requirements. Maryland, for example, expanded its admissions window by accepting
for admission individuals who have completed seventh grade if they have a combined
score of 1200 or more on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (MD. CODE ANN. [Education]
§ 15-101 (1992)).
Changes In Institutional Missions
Legislatures may require institutions to change or update their missions in order
to respond to new state needs. Maryland universities must update their missions every
five years to remain consistent with the statewide planning system, to "reduce
unnecessary duplication of academic programs" and to "promote the efficient and
effective use of the institution's and the System's resources" (MD CODE ANN.
[Education] § 11-302 (1992)). As a result, the University of Maryland at College Park
was recently required to change its mission to include a focus on continuing education.
The University of Minnesota must submit mission statements to the legislature
every two years. Among other factors, each report must include program priorities,
66


a review of projected community outreach and extension services, and enrollment
plans to adjust faculty, staff, and programs in order to meet public demands (MINN.
ST AT. ANN. § 135 A.06 (1994)).
Creation Of An Accountability Taskforce
Accountability task forces have been established in several states in order to
strategically assess the activities of public higher education institutions, establish
performance indicators, and recommend areas for improvement. Task forces often
include members from outside the university who may be appointed by elected
officials.
The Governor's Task Force on University of Wisconsin Accountability was
created by Executive Order 177 in 1993. Its members included Charles Sykes, author
of ProfScam an indictment of university professors whom he claimed are overpaid
and "grotesquely under-worked" and have "twisted the ideals of academic freedom into
a system in which they are accountable to no one" (Sykes, 1987), 6). Its report, issued
in June of 1993, recommended that the Board of Regents adopt accountability measures
for higher education, including faculty productivity, undergraduate quality, and the
diversity of student bodies (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1993).
Kentucky's Higher Education Review Commission (HERC), composed of
public university presidents, board chairs, legislators, governors staff and chaired by
the director of Kentucky higher education coordinating board, and appointed by the
Governor, was charged with submitting a plan to restructure public higher education.
Among the committee's recommendations were an annual accountability report and
performance-based funding which recognized mission differentiation among the state's
higher education institutions (KY. REV. ST AT. § 164.095 (Michie Supp. 1994)).
67


English Language Certification For Teaching Assistants
Responding to concerns that student learning experiences are hampered by their
inability to understand international teaching assistants, several states have mandated
programs to certify that teaching assistants are orally proficient in the English language.
States differ markedly in their approaches.
Kentucky instructors and teaching assistants must be evaluated periodically to
determine whether students find their "English speech pattern" to be understandable.
Instructors whose speech patterns are deemed unacceptable have one semester to
demonstrate English language competence. A second unsatisfactory evaluation results
in termination of employment (KY. REV. ST AT. § 164.297 (Michie 1994).
In Pennsylvania, the English Fluency in Higher Education Act requires English
fluency to be evaluated for all faculty by personal interviews, observations or
evaluations for peers, alumni or students, publications or professional presentation.
Failure to certify instructional faculty may result in a $10,000 fine for each course
taught by an uncertified instructor (PA. STAT. ANN. Education 24, § 6303, 6304,
6305).
Instructors, including teaching assistants, employed by public Texas higher
education institutions, and deemed not to be proficient in the English language, must
enroll in a language course developed by their institution. The costs of this course must
be deducted from the instructors' salary (TEX. [Education] CODE ANN. § 51.917
(West Supp 1995).
The State of Washington has taken a more supportive approach, affirming that
the presence of international students and faculty "enriches the educational experience
of Washington's students" (WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 28B. 15.79 (West Supp.
68


1995)). The Effective Communication Act requires higher education institutions to
ensure that graduate teaching assistants are able to effectively communicate with
undergraduate students. The Act also established a task force to improve
communication and teaching skills of graduate assistants and instructors who teach
undergraduates classes and labs. Among the task force's charges are to review
institutional policies and procedures to ensure that faculty and teaching assistants
communicate effectively in courses for undergraduate students, and to research and
disseminate methods to improve the communication skills of undergraduate instructors
(WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 28B.15. 1792, § 28B.15.1794, § 28B. 15.796 (West
Supp. 1995)).
Enrollment Limitations
Enrollment limitations have been imposed in an effort to increase access for
state residents, direct lower division and less prepared students into two or four-year
institutions, and to increase the quality of the education experience. These enrollment
limitations tend to take one of two forms, either limiting access for nonresident students
or capping institutional enrollments.
In Colorado, responding to complaints that Colorado residents were being
denied admission into the University of Colorado at Boulder, Governor Roy Romer
signed into law a bill barring the state universities from enrolling more than 45% of
University freshmen from out of state. (COLO. REV. STAT. § 23-1-113.5 (Supp.
1994)).
In an effort to encourage enrollment in the less expensive community college
system, the California legislature imposed an upper division enrollment policy which
requires students who have attained upper division status to constitute at least 60
69


percent of undergraduate enrollment within the University of California system. (CAL.
[Education] CODE § 66730 (West Supp. 1995)).
Enrollment. Retention. And Graduation Reports
Enrollment, retention and graduation reports are often required in an effort to
document institutional performance in attracting and matriculating different types of
students. Reports are typically required to include information related to the
enrollment, retention and graduation of students by gender, ethnicity and transfer
status. In addition to statistics on the general student population, Arkansas institutions
must report on retention and graduation rates for student who participate in
intercollegiate athletics (ARK CODE ANN. § 6-61-220 (Michie Supp. 1993)).
Faculty Productivity Reports
Responding to charges that faculty members spend an inadequate amount of
time with undergraduate students, several states have mandated faculty productivity
reports which document the amount of time faculty members spend on teaching,
research and service. California universities must report on teaching loads and student
credit hours per full-time equivalent tenured and tenure track faculty members, and
must also provide documentation related to undergraduate versus graduate course loads
(CAL. [Education] CODE § 66015.7 (West Supp 1995)). In Florida these reports are
used to monitor classroom teaching in order to comply with a state requirement that
faculty supported entirely by state funds spend at least 12 hours a week in the
classroom (FLA. ST AT. ANN. § 240.214 (West Supp. 1995)).
70


Faculty Salary Restrictions
Faculty salary restrictions are an effort to reduce costs and to limit institutional
discretion regarding compensation. Louisiana, for example, requires universities to
grant salary increases in the manner prescribed by the Legislature. Funds appropriated
for salaries may not be diverted for other uses, nor may the funds be distributed in the
form of salary increases greater than those intended by the legislature based on merit
(LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 3306 (West Supp. 1995)).
Funding Based On Progress In Enrolling. Retaining And Graduating Minority Students
In an effort to motivate universities to bolster their efforts to enroll, retain, and
graduate minority students, some states have linked funding to demonstrated success in
these efforts, or have imposed financial penalties on those judged to have made
insufficient progress. Tennessee offers performance incentives for minority student
recruitment and retention (TENN. CODE. ANN. § 49-7-210 (1994)). Colorado takes
a more punitive approach and requires institutions which fail to achieve their affirmative
action goals in recruitment and retention to dedicate two percent of their appropriation
toward programs and services designed to meet recruitment and retention goals (COL.
REV. STAT. § 23-13-101 (1988)).
Graduation Time Limits
Responding to concerns that students are not able to enroll in courses required
to graduate within four years, some states have mandated graduation time limits in
order to force universities to offer more sections of the courses required for graduation.
In 1993, the Washington Legislature required all public higher education institutions to
develop by 1994 and to implement by 1995 strategic plans to improve the graduation
71


rate for all students and to shorten the time required to complete a certificate or degree
program (WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 28B 10.691 (West Supp 1995). Californias
Legislature was more prescriptive and called for faculty members to increase their
average teaching loads in order to assist students in making "normal progress toward a
baccalaureate degree" (CAL. [Education] CODE § 66015.4 (West Supp. 1995)).
Performance-Based Funding
Performance-based funding is an attempt to link state funding to the
achievement of specified educational objectives. While 26 states were using
performance-based budgeting to fund state agencies in 1994 (Carter, 1994), only 13
states reported that higher education institutions are funded at least partially in this
manner.
Minnesota institutions may receive an instructional services base increase of up
to one percent if they meet performance standards established by their governing board
(MINN. STAT ANN. § 135A. 031 (West Supp. 1995).
Tennessee institutions may receive up to 5.45 percent of their base
appropriation for achieving performance criteria. To be eligible for these extra dollars,
institutions are assessed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission on 10
performance indicators which are assigned various points. The sum of the points
determines the amount of performance funding that will be provided. The standards by
which institutions are assessed include:
1. General education outcomes based on student scored on the ACT-COMP or
other college-based examinations;
2. Student achievement on major field examinations as compared to national
norms;
72


3. Alumni and student survey responses compared to past institutional
performance or survey norms;
4. Accreditation of accreditable programs;
5. Peer review of non-accreditable programs;
6. Master's level program review results;
7. Achievement in meeting minority enrollment goals;
8. Minority student retention and graduation rates;
9. Performance in attaining "planning benchmarks" related to the Tennessee
Higher Education Coordinating Board master plan; and
10. Actions taken to utilize data to make institutional improvements (TENN.
CODE. ANN. § 49-7-210 (1994).
In Kentucky, institutions are funded based on their performance in five areas:
1. Student retention rates (with special attention to African-American students,
transfer students and first year students);
2. Student outcomes (including graduation rates, student, employer and
alumni satisfaction rates);
3. Quality of instructional program (including success on licensure exams and
the number of hours allocated to instruction);
4. Quality of research/service program (including external support per full-time
faculty member, and faculty involvement in economic development activities);
and
5. Campus management (including the development of strategic plans and
hiring rates of African-American employees)
(KY. REV. STAT. § 164.095 (Michie Supp. 1994)).
About a dozen states appropriate funding based on the information presented in
accountability reports. Colorado has taken a different approach. Rather than rewarding
institutions for strong performance, the state has developed a system to punish
institions for failing to comply with accountability measures. The Colorado
Commission on Higher Education is authorized to retain up to two percent of an
73


institution's appropriation if the college or university fails or refuses to implement any
part of the mandated accountability program (COLO. REV. STAT. § 23-13-101).
Restrictions On How Revenue May Be Generated
Legislators in some states have restricted institutional flexibility in generating
funds. Restrictions may be placed on revenue generating activity such as off-campus
programming, vending machines receipts, fee charges, and selling products which may
compete with goods sold by private sector vendors. The most common restrictions
apply to student fees. In Tennessee, for example, student activity fees may only be
increased through a referendum held during the student government election process
(TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-8-110 (1990)). In California, student fee increases or
decreases may not exceed 10 percent of the prior year's fee (CAL. [Education] CODE §
66158 (West Supp. 1995)).
Arizona universities are prohibited from providing goods and services which
are also offered by private enterprise unless the provision of the goods or services
offers an education or research experience. Recreational, athletic, and cultural events
medical services and facilities providing food service are excluded, however (ARIZ.
REV. STAT. ANN. § 41-2753 (1992)).
Restrictions On Sabbaticals
Sabbatical restrictions have been imposed in some states in order to ensure that
these leaves are used only for valid academic growth experiences. Common
restrictions include limits on how frequently sabbaticals may be taken, reporting
requirements prior to and after taking the sabbatical, and restrictions on the types of job
classifications eligible for sabbatical leaves. Louisiana imposes a number of sabbatical
74


restrictions and requirements. Among them, the limitation to five percent of total
institutional faculty that may be permitted to take a sabbatical at any given time,
prohibition of additional compensation during the sabbatical period, and an extensive
report on activities conducted during the period of leave (LA. REV. STAT. ANN. §
3321, 3324, 3327 (West Supp. 1995)).
The Colorado Legislature clamped down on sabbaticals when a University of
Colorado administrator left his post and was granted a sabbatical to, as he told
reporters, "read Shakespeare and Aristotle" to prepare for a return to the classroom after
five years as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the Colorado Springs campus
(Romano, 1993). Responding to public outcries which equated sabbaticals with paid
vacations, the Colorado Legislature barred sabbaticals and administrative leaves for
administrators at all state supported higher education institutions (COLO. REV. STATE
§ 23-5-123)).
Student Outcomes Assessment
Education assessment programs have been implemented in an effort to evaluate
the extent to which educational goals are achieved. Assessment efforts range from
statewide student testing to institutional self studies which analyze specific performance
indicators (Aper & Hinkle, 1991). Colorado's institutions are required to develop
student assessment reports in which student outcomes are described in terms of:
"knowledge, intellectual capacity, and skills, and may include other
dimensions of student growth, such as self confidence, persistence,
leadership, empathy, social responsibility, understanding of cultural and
intellectual differences, employability, and transferability" (COLO. REV.
STAT. § 33-13-101 (1988).
California's Legislature has adopted a progressive, faculty centered approach to
75


assessment noting that:
"the primary purposes of assessment shall be to improve teaching and
learning as well as academic advising (and that) assessment program shall
be focused on activities that are campus-based, faculty centered, and
student responsive." Furthermore, "faculty students, and academic
administrators are encouraged to work together in developing assessment
programs." (CAL. [Education] CODE § 66951 (West Supp. 1995).
Missouri outcomes assessment programs were designed with a markedly
different intent. Universities in this state are required to report on the performance of
public high school graduates during the students' first year within the university
system. These reports must contain grade point averages, retention information, and
enrollment in remedial or other noncollege level courses. (MO. STAT. ANN. §
173.750 (Vernon's Supp. 1995)). Rather than evaluating higher education institutions,
this measure is designed to evaluate the ability of high schools to prepare their
graduates for postsecondary education.
Tuition Ceilings
In response to charges that higher education has become unaffordable or that
universities are being fiscally irresponsible, some state have imposed limits on tuition.
Limits may range from year-to-year increase allowances to requirements that tuition for
state residents be set at a percentage of nonresident tuition. Vermont, for example,
limits resident tuition to 40% of nonresident tuition (VT. STAT. ANN. Education, §
2282 1982).
Other Accountability Measures Employed Bv The States
The survey tool administered to university administrators asked respondents to
list additional accountability efforts enacted in their states. These strategies, as reported
76


by survey respondents, can generally be categorized as efforts to increase institutional
productivity, reduce institutional or educational costs, and increase fiscal accountability.
Efforts to Increase Productivity
While 68 percent of the states require at least some of their public doctoral
universities to produce faculty productivity reports, some states have mandated actual
productivity levels. The Ohio Legislature required the Ohio Board of Regents to work
with state universities to develop faculty workloads (OHIO REV. CODE ANN. 6
3345.45 (Anderson, 1992)). As a result, faculty in Ohio were required beginning in
1993 to increase their productivity by 10% and to establish department workload
policies. In West Virginia, the productivity movement applies to faculty and
administrators, both of whom must be 10% more productive than their counterparts at
identified peer institutions.
Much of the concern about faculty productivity is prompted by concerns about
course availability and emphasis on instruction. In response to charges that faculty
were engaging in consulting at the expense of teaching and advising, the University of
North Carolina was required to implement a policy limiting the pursuit of these outside
consulting opportunities.
Similar concerns prompted the Florida Legislature to change its higher
education funding formula in such a way that universities may increase enrollments but
will not receive additional general fund appropriations for doing so. The intent of this
funding change was to force institutions to direct more of their faculty's time toward
classroom teaching and away from research, service, or outside consulting. To make
this emphasis shift more palatable to faculty members, five million dollars a year is
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being used to fund the "Teaching Incentive Program," an effort which provides $5,000
adjustments to base salary awards for individuals providing quality instruction to large
numbers of undergraduate students.
Yet another approach to dealing with productivity has been per-student cost
analysis. This approach, employed in Minnesota, requires the University to produce
cost-per-student analyses over time in order to track faculty productivity and
administrative efficiency. Another approach, and a highly unusual one, has been
employed in Virginia where public universities are barred from installing computer
games on their computers; theoretically to ensure that work, not play, occurs in
university offices.
Cost Reduction Efforts
Reducing the costs of education is a major concern for states. Efforts to reduce
duplication and save money while increasing quality were the hallmark of California's
Master Plan established in 1960. Under this framework, universities, colleges and
community colleges have different admission requirements and different missions.
Community colleges provide training for vocational occupations and lower division arts
and sciences courses for transfer to other institutions (CAL. [Education] CODE §
66701 (West 1989)). The California State University system prepares undergraduate
students and graduate students to the master's degree level (CAL. [Education] CODE §
66500 (West 1989)). Institutions within the University' of California system are
authorized to provide undergraduate and graduate education to include the granting of
doctoral degrees, and the provision of training in the areas of law and medicine (CAL.
[Education] CODE § 66720 (West 1989)).
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The Minnesota higher education system is comparable in that it is composed of
technical colleges which prepare students for skills occupations. Community colleges
provide lower division academic programs and occupational programs leading to
associate degrees. The state universities offer undergraduate programs and graduate
programs through the master's degree. The University of Minnesota offers
undergraduate, graduate and professional education through the doctoral degree and is
primarily responsible for research and extension services
To enhance the success of these master plans, California (CAL. [Education]
CODE §66720 (West Supp. 1995) and Minnesota (MINN. STAT. ANN. §135.A.052
(West 1994)) have established articulation agreements to facilitate the transition from
two-year to four-year colleges institution.
Even states without comparable higher education plans have developed
articulation agreements to encourage students to take lower division course work at
community colleges and to ease the transition to four-year institutions. New Mexico
has been quite aggressive in its articulation efforts. Until 1994, the New Mexico
Higher Education Commission required each higher education institution to report each
instance in which an institution denied transfer credit for course work completed at
another higher education institution (N.M. STAT. ANN. § 21-1-26.4 (Michie 1992).
In 1995, the Commission was charged with the establishment and maintenance of an
articulation plan which included the development of modules of lower division courses
accepted for transfer at all New Mexico post secondary institutions (N.M. STAT.
ANN. § 21-1B-3 (Michie Supp. 1995)).
Restrictions on institutional missions, master plan requirements and articulation
agreements are designed in part to reduce program duplication. In addition to these
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strategies, several states require universities to submit for review by the state higher
education board or commission all new academic programs or degree proposals (ARK
REV. STAT § 6-61-208 (Michie Supp 1993); OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3333.07
(Anderson 1994); MD. CODE ANN. [Education] § 11-205 (1992); S.C. CODE ANN.
§ 59-103-35 (Law Co-op Supp. 1994)).
Efforts To Increase Fiscal Accountability
A number of strategies have been employed to increase universities' fiscal
accountability. Texas universities are required to maintain financial information on a
state-wide accounting system and Maryland requires "fiscal outcomes" to be
considered in its annual performance report.
Several states have implemented reporting requirement for gifts from "foreign
countries." Missouri universities must report to the Missouri Department of Higher
Education the amount and any restrictions or conditions attached to gifts of $100,000 or
more (MO. REV. STAT. §173.275 (Vernon 1991)). Pennsylvania enacted similar
requirements with harsher penalties. Failure to disclose this information about foreign
gifts in this state may result in a civil penalty of 105% of the amount of the undisclosed
gift (PA. STAT. ANN. Education, 24, § 6303 (1992)).
Efforts To Revamp Higher Education Systems
Rather than dealing with incremental change, some states have attempted to
revamp their entire higher education systems. The Illinois Board of Higher Education,
for example, announced in 1991, "Priorities, Quality and Productivity," an initiative
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requiring a thorough and in-depth assessment of every operational function in each of
Dlinois' public higher education institutions. And in Virginia, the legislature has
required each higher education institution to detail how instructional, research, service,
and administrative activities will be improved.
Factors Influencing Adoption Of Accountability Measures
Chapter One discussed this dissertation's hypothesis that the enactment of
higher education accountability requirements is related to weak relationships between
state legislators and universities, as well as lack of consensus regarding university
missions. The first chapter also discussed contentions that accountability requirements
are a response to shifting state fiscal demands. This next section analyzes these factors
in order to determine whether they have truly influenced the enactment of higher
education accountability requirements.
State Concerns About Higher Education Accountability
Using a five point scale in which 1 signified "no concern" and 5 signified
"tremendous concern," state legislator and university administrator surveys asked:
"During the last five years, how much concern has your state legislature expressed
about higher education accountability?" Mean university administrator responses by
state are reported in Appendix K. Because legislators from each state did not return
their survey instruments, no comparable table for this group exists. Response
distributions for each group are presented in Table 4.16.
University administrators in only six states (12%) reported little concern about
higher education accountability within their states. University administrators in
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nineteen states (38%) reported strong to tremendous concern. However, 52% of state
legislators reported strong to tremendous concern.
To determine the relationship between state accountability concern and the
number of accountability requirements enacted in a state, correlation and regression
coefficients were generated. These numbers, which appear in Tables 19 and 20, reveal
that state higher education accountability concern is strongly correlated to the enactment
of accountability requirements (correlation of 0.518). When regression analysis is
performed, this factor is highly significant (adjusted R2 = 28.6%, p = 0.00).
Relationships Between Universities And State Legislatures
Laws designed to increase higher education accountability have been enacted in
order to monitor or modify university behavior. It is possible, therefore, that the
amount of trust that exists between universities and state legislatures may influence
legislator interest in proposing and enacting accountability legislation.
The relationship between universities and state legislatures differs significantly
between state institutions. Using a five point scale in which 1 signified "destructive
relationship characterized by tension and distrust" and 5 signified "extremely strong and
supportive relationship" the survey asked university administrators, "How would you
rate the relationship between your institution and your state legislature?" Mean state
responses by university administrators to the question, are reported in Appendix M.
Because survey responses were not received from legislators in each state, no
comparable table exists. Response distributions from both populations are presented in
Table 4.17.
Table 4.17 reveals that university administrators in 13 states (26%) reported
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weak relationships. Seven states (14%) reported strong or extremely strong
relationships.
State legislators, who were asked: "How would you rate the relationship
between your Legislature and your state's public doctoral granting institutions," rated
their relationships with universities more highly. Only 10% of state legislators (vs.
26% of university administrators) reported weak relationships; and 34% (vs. 14 of
university administrators) reported strong or extremely strong relationships.
Tables 4.19 and 4.20 reveal that this variable is not strongly related to the
enactment of accountability requirements (correlation = 0.062), however, and when
regression analysis was performed, the variable had no predictive ability (adjusted R2 =
0%).
State Legislator And University Administrator Agreement On Institutional Missions
Because several accountability requirements seek to influence the activities of
universities, the survey instruments were designed to ascertain whether the degree of
state legislator and university administrator agreement on university missions
influenced the enactment of accountability legislation. University administrators were
asked to use a five point scale in which 1 signified "no agreement regarding the mission
of our institution" and 5 signified "absolute agreement regarding the mission of our
institution," to answer the question: "How much agreement do you believe exists
between your institution and your state legislature regarding the mission of your
institution?" State legislators were asked a slightly different question: "How much
agreement do you believe exists between your Legislature and the public doctoral
universities in your state?"
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University administrators differed little in their assessment of the amount of
agreement they believe exists between state legislatures and their institutions regarding
university missions. Mean state responses are described in Appendix O. Again,
because responses were not received from legislators in each state, no comparable
tables exists for this group.
Table 4.18 reveals that university administrators in 98% of the states and 90%
of state legislators perceive there to be there is at least moderate agreement regarding
university missions.
Agreement on mission is not a predictive variable for the enactment of higher education
accountability legislation, however. As displayed in Tables 4.19 and 4.20, the
correlation coefficient is .013. When regression analysis was performed, the resulting
adjusted R2 was 0%.
Agreement On Mission And Institutional Priorities
In addition to concerns about agreement on institutional missions, many higher
education critics have charged these institutions with failing to appropriately balance
teaching, research and service (Bloom, 1987; Sykes, 1987). To explore whether
university administrators and state legislators placed different priorities on appropriate
activities for doctoral granting universities, both population samples' survey
instruments asked "If your institution (or public doctoral granting institutions within
your state) could focus on only four of the following activities, which four would you
select?" Respondents were given seven choices: graduate education, professional
education, public service, basic research, applied research, undergraduate teaching and
work force preparation. Tables 4.21 and 4.22 reveal that higher education
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administrators and state legislators disagreed about institutional priorities.
Both groups selected three of the same top four institutional priorities, but they
differed in the intensity of their agreement. For example, both populations selected
undergraduate education as the first priority (100% of legislators and 92% of university
administrators). Both groups selected graduate education as the second priority (56%
of state legislators and 76% of university administrators); and both populations selected
applied research as the fourth priority (48% of state legislators and 57% of university
administrators).
The three exceptions to agreement were work force preparation, basic research and
public service. While 70% of legislators listed work force preparation
as a priority, only 19.1% of higher education administrators did so. Basic research
was the second priority for university administrators (77%) but the fifth priority for
state legislators (48%). Finally, state legislators rated public service as the least
important priority (37%) while university administrators ranked it as the fifth most
important activity (44%).
Fiscal Indicators
State government efforts to increase the accountability of higher education
institutions have coincided with national economic downturns and subsequent
decreases in financial support to these institutions. The timing of these events has
prompted many to assume a causal relationship between trends in state revenue
expenditures and the enactment of measures designed to influence or more tightly
monitor public university activity (Astin, 1990; Brand, 1993).
Resource shortages were consistently cited by state legislators and university
administrators as major forces prompting the accountability requirements. Some states
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