The relationship between higher education and state government in reference to autonomy and accountability

Tyrone Warren McCombs, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Autonomy and accountability are two major issues that affect the relationship between higher education and state government. A review of the literature from the late 1970s to the present provided a development of the two issues over time. The importance of autonomy as a means to benefit those internal and external to the institution was more prevalent during the 1980s. In the 1990s there is an equally strong call for accountability regarding the practices of higher education. The study focused on the state of New Jersey as a model relationship between higher education and state governments. An investigation was conducted by interviewing key institutional and government leaders and reviewing written documents pertaining to higher education in the state. Under the leadership of Republican Governors institutions received greater autonomy and less governmental intrusion. However, during the terms of Democratic Governors, institutions faced agendas and plans of more governmental oversight and less institutional autonomy. By the late 1990s and early 2000s both parties agree on the importance of accountability and support efforts to justify institutional practices. Several factors such as political party affiliation and the personalities of those in leadership seem to influence the development of higher education within the state. These are two key factors that should be studied in reviewing the relationship between higher education and state government as a model for examining autonomy and accountability in other states.

Subject Area

Higher education|School administration|Public administration

Recommended Citation

McCombs, Tyrone Warren, "The relationship between higher education and state government in reference to autonomy and accountability" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3087429.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3087429

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