The buck stops where? A theory-based analysis on the rise of campus-initiated tuition increases and their effects on the University of North Carolina
In an environment where state political leaders are having trouble maintaining current spending levels, higher education is finding it increasingly difficult to compete for appropriations with other state services; particularly healthcare, corrections, primary and secondary education. In fact, during times of financial crisis, states often cut funding to their public higher education institutions to balance the budget. The inability of states to fund universities at historic levels has led to different reactions by universities. As the crisis continues to worsen, we should evaluate institutional responses. The University of North Carolina responded by giving its institutions the authority to increase tuition at their own discretion with minimal state coordinating board oversight. Using an approach based in public policy theory, I investigated how campus-initiated tuition increases became an integral part of tuition setting in North Carolina and the impact that these tuition increases have had across the UNC system. In this research, I describe the environment that led to the creation of this policy, why this particular policy was chosen, and how the policy has been implemented. I conclude with my interpretation of the impact. The data for this research was collected by interviewing senior administrators, faculty, and students as well as reviewing key institutional documents. The study is framed by John W. Kingdon's research on policy-making streams, Paul Berman's work on types of policy implementation, and Robert Zemsky's market taxonomy. The results are informative to both researchers and practitioners as institutions struggle to respond to the withdrawal of traditional state support. ^
Education, Finance|Political Science, General|Education, Higher
Michael S Harris,
"The buck stops where? A theory-based analysis on the rise of campus-initiated tuition increases and their effects on the University of North Carolina"
(January 1, 2004).
Dissertations available from ProQuest.