Group Title: relationship of administrative theory to the identification of governance issues in state community college systems /
Title: The relationship of administrative theory to the identification of governance issues in state community college systems /
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Title: The relationship of administrative theory to the identification of governance issues in state community college systems /
Physical Description: viii, 368 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kiehle, Fred Ellsworth, 1945-
Publication Date: 1979
Copyright Date: 1979
Subject: Community colleges -- Administration -- United States   ( lcsh )
Educational Administration and Supervision thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Administration and Supervision -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 355-366.
Additional Physical Form: Also available on World Wide Web
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Fred E. Kiehle, III.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00097455
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000088434
oclc - 05664648
notis - AAK3811


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I wish to thank the members of my supervisory committee for the aid

they provided me as I worked on this project. Dr. James L. Wattenbarger,

as chairman, contributed immensely, not only by sharing his knowledge but,

perhaps more importantly, by offering his unflagging interest, concern,

and encouragement. Likewise, the valuable contributions of Dr. Michael

Y. Nunnery and Dr. Kevin M. McCarthy are sincerely appreciated. The

former, especially, sparked my belief in the essential and unavoidable

relationship between administrative theory and administrative practice, a

belief that lies at the heart of this study. To the latter go my thanks

both for his aid on this project and also for his major contribution to

my understanding of the structure of language; many of my most rewarding

moments as an instructor of English can be attributed to that foundation.

I also wish to thank the community college educators who served on

the Delphi panel around which this study revolved. Obviously, without

their excellent cooperation, this study would not exist.

Finally, my family deserves my deep gratitude. My wife, Mary Jo,

gave me the encouragement, support, and aid, especially in the final

stages, that made the completion of this project possible. And I must

thank my sons, Andrew and Tyler, for their loving tolerance of the loss

of many hours together. I hope that I can repay the debt I have incurred.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ..................................................... ii

LIST OF TABLES ...................................... .............. v

ABSTRACT .......................................................... i


ONE THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY ............................... 1

The Rise of State-Level Coordination of
Postsecondary Education .... ....................... 1
The Community Colleges and Coordination ............. 12
The Concern over Institutional Autonomy ............. 26

TWO THE STUDY .................................................... 46

Introduction ............... .......................... 46
The Problem ........................................... 50
Definition of Terms ................................. 62
Hypotheses .............................................. 64
Procedures .............................................. 65
Organization of the Report ........................... 77


Introduction .......................................... 79
State Coordination and Higher Education .............. 80
State Coordination of Community Colleges ............. 111
The Theoretical Background of the Study .............. 136
The Delphi Technique ....... .......................... 183

FOUR THE RESULTS OF THE DATA ANALYSIS ......................... 189

Introduction .......................................... 189
The Nonissues and Issues ............................... 191
Issues and Chief-Executive Level ..................... 198
Issues and System Governance Structure ................ 205
Nonissues and Administrative Theory ................... 213
Summary .................................................. 233



Introduction ......................................... 236
The Nonissues ...................................... 238
The Issues ........................................ 251

IMPLICATIONS ........................................ 280

Introduction ....................................... 280
Summary of the Study ................................. 280
Implications for Governance-Power Allocation ....... 294
Contributions to Future Research ................... 305
Suggestions for Further Research ................... 306



DELPHI PANEL ........................................ 310

C DELPHI PANELISTS ......................................... 311


E PHASE II QUESTIONNAIRE ........... ..... ................. 328

RESPONDENTS ........................................ 334

NONRESPONDENTS ........................................ 335

H PHASE III QUESTIONNAIRE ....... ......................... 336

RESPONDENTS ........................................... 342

NONRESPONDENTS ...................................... 343


REFERENCES ...................................... ............... 355

REFERENCE NOTES ...................................... .......... 366

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................ 367





1 Number of States by Type of State-Level Postsecondary-
Education Coordinating Structure ....................... 11

2 Number of States by Type and Functional Role of State-
Level Community College Coordinating Board ............ 25

3 Number of Delphi Panelists Preferring a Governance
Activity Be Exercised at the Specified Level ......... 192

4 For Each Issue, the Number of Delphi Panelists, by Role
Level, Preferring a Governance Activity Be Exercised
at the Specified Level and the Calculated Between-
Levels U ................................................ 200

5 For Each Issue, the Number of Delphi Panelists, by System
Governance Structure, Preferring a Governance Activity
Be Exercised at the Specified Level and the Calculated
Among-Structures H ................................... 207

6 Levels at Which Nonissue Governance Activities Should Be
Exercised According to Bureaucratic Theory, Panel
Consensus, and Collegial Theory ....................... 229

7 For Each Nonissue, the Number of Delphi Panelists, by
Role Level and by System Governance Structure,
Preferring a Governance Activity Be Exercised at
the Specified Level .................................. 345

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Fred E. Kiehle, III

June, 1979

Chairman: James L. Wattenbarger
Major Department: Educational Administration and Supervision

The purpose of this study was to investigate the desirable allocation

of governance power to state-level boards/agencies and colleges/districts

in state community college systems. First, the growth of state

coordination and governance and the factors impelling this growth were

noted. Likewise, calls for the maintenance of traditional institutional

autonomy and the evidence supporting these calls were examined. It was

concluded that these sometimes conflicting ideas, coordination and autonomy,

were both indeed requirements for effective and efficient state systems.

Therefore, balancing these requirements constituted a real, complex, and

controversial problem.

This problem was examined by first identifying the issues and nonissue

in the allocation of governance power in terms of the opinions of chief

executives of state-level staffs for community colleges and of college

chief executives. Representing approximately equal samples from each

group, 36 Delphi panelists were asked to indicate at which of five levels,

solely state to solely college, each of 55 governance activities should

preferably be exercised. A majority agreed on the preferred placement

levels for 34 activities; therefore, these activities were identified as

nonissues. The other 21 activities were identified as issues. The

panelists' opinions regarding the placement of the issues were analyzed,

and it was found that panelist role level, state or college, appeared to be

a factor contributing to disagreement over the preferred placement of eight

issue governance activities. On the other hand, no significant difference

was found among the opinions of chief executives grouped by type of state

board for community colleges--governing, coordinating-governing, or

coordinating--in the state where each worked. Consequently, it was

concluded that this factor apparently did not contribute to disagreement.

Finally, the preferred placements of the nonissues were compared to

placements hypothesized on the basis of the prescriptive tenets of

bureaucratic and of collegial administrative theory. The nonissue place-

ments were found to be significantly congruent with the theoretical

collegial placements. Therefore, it was concluded that collegial theory

appeared to underlie, whether consciously or unconsciously, the thinking

of the chief executives regarding the placement of nonissue governance


Next, the implications of the study's results for the desirable

allocation of governance power in state systems were discussed. The

nonissue placements were compared to opinions previously expressed in the


literature and to the ideas of collegial theory, and typically, general

agreement was found. Accordingly, 33 of the 34 nonissue placements were

recommended as guidelines for practice. Each of the 21 issues was then

discussed in terms of the distribution of panelist placement opinions,

opinions from the literature, and theorized collegial placements. For

most activities, this evidence strongly implied that no more than two,

and sometimes one, placement levels were desirable alternatives. For each

issue governance activity, then, these alternatives were recommended as


Among the more general conclusions in the study, it was suggested

that professional opinion, as represented by the panelists' responses and

comments in the literature, was characterized by greater agreement

concerning governance-power allocation than actually exists in practice.

Moreover, the panelists supported the concept of college autonomy more

strongly than one might have expected from observing existing patterns.

These conclusions perhaps imply that the coordination-autonomy conflict

can be dealt with more adequately in practice; equally, however, they

perhaps imply that professional influence on actual practice in state

systems is limited. Finally, it was suggested that the theoretical

consistency of the nonissue placements supported the validity and value

of applying administrative theory, especially collegial theory, more

extensively to research in this area.



The Rise of State-Level
Coordination of Postsecondary Education

The Growth of Postsecondary Education

Until the past few years, it would not have been inappropriate to

describe the development and growth of higher education in the United

States as phenomenal. Rudolph (1962, p. 486), in his history of

American higher education, summarized this point over a decade ago

when he noted that higher education had moved from initially serving a

small elite--variously economic, intellectual, or both--to a point

where half of the traditionally college-aged youth were engaged in

some form of postsecondary education. More recently, Gleazer (1974,

p. 6) too noted that nationally about 50% of high school graduates

entered postsecondary education and the rate in some states was 70%.

As would be expected, the costs of postsecondary education likewise

rose. Halstead (1974, p. 520) reported that, between the academic

years 1962-63 and 1972-73, operating expenditures qradrupled to 30.2

billion dollars. Even with per-student expenditures increasing very

little, the annual growth rate of operating expenditures averaged 14%,

twice that of the gross national product.

In the early 1970's however, this growth trend slowed and turned

around. The most direct cause of this slowdown was the decrease in

the college-age population, resulting from declining birthrates. The

size of this group has stabilized in the 1970's and may begin decreasing

this year (Glenny, 1972, p. 43). One reported projection (Glenny,

1974, p. 60) foresees a drop of 22% between 1980 and 1990, and Gleazer

(1974, p. 6) thinks any increase before the year 2000 appears unlikely.

Furthermore, he does not believe significant increases can be expected

in the rate of attendance of high school graduates, given its current

level. As a result, an increase in this rate cannot be relied upon to

soften the blow of these enrollment trends on postsecondary education.

In addition, just as was true in the earlier growth period, these new

trends have been echoed in the area of funding. Moreover, this situa-

tion has been exacerbated by the rise in other societal demands upon

the tax dollar. As a result, postsecondary education has been receiv-

ing a declining percentage of governmental revenues (Glenny, 1974, p.


Some observers are more optimistic. Bowen (1974), for example,

suggested that nothing in the current situation unalterably prohibits

growth in postsecondary education and that appropriate decisions by

leaders in higher education, especially in the realms of the basic

goal of education (he recommends emphasizing the development of human

capabilities over occupational training) and the avenues of access,

can make the current stabilization temporary. Certainly, postsecondary

education's response to the contemporary environment will affect its

future; nonetheless, the consensus evident in a review by Centra (1979)

is that the future promises little or no growth in this century.

Factors Impelling State-Level Coordination of Postsecondary Education

Ironically, both of these eras in postsecondary education, the

boom years of the 1960's and the limited-growth years of the 1970's

and beyond, share one effect. Both seem to call for state-wide

coordination and/or control of postsecondary education. Halstead

(1974) defined coordination as "the securing of smooth concerted

action through effective interrelationships and recognition of common

goals" and noted that it "relates the parts of a system to the whole,

interrelates parts within the system, and relates the parts and the

system to external factors" (p. 3). Since colleges are corporations

chartered by individual states, the ultimate responsibility for moni-

toring these interrelationships inherently and properly falls to the

states (Henderson, A. D., 1969, p. 3).

However, the extent to and the manner in which this inherent

power is implemented varies with circumstances and has thus changed

over the years. When postsecondary education was an elite function,

carried out by a limited number of often small institutions and affect-

ing a small segment of the population, the necessity of a state assum-

ing this monitoring responsibility was minimal. As the size and

societal impact of postsecondary education grew, however, the necessity

of assuming that responsibility also grew. Initially, as pointed out

by one state legislator (Graham, 1975, p. 46), this emerging require-

ment could be and was carried out by legislatures dealing directly

with institutions through their governing boards; thus, the legisla-

tures were the coordinating boards. Nonetheless, the postwar growth

of postsecondary education, reaching its peak in the 1960's, eventually

impelled many legislatures to delegate this responsibility. The

increased size and complexity of the postsecondary education establish-

ment required the specific attention of a state-level body created

especially for this purpose (Henderson, A. D., 1969, pp. 8-9). As a

result, by 1969, 46 states had some type of coordinating agency for

higher education; and of the remaining four, two had a formal,

although voluntary, system of interinstitutional communication. Half

of these agencies were creations of the 1960's (Berdahl, 1971, pp.


As an early proponent of coordinated state systems of higher

education, McConnell (1962, p. 136) identified two major reasons under-

lying the need for such coordination. First, because of the increas-

ingly complex nature of society, diverse educational programs and

opportunities are necessary to meet the desires of the citizens and

the needs of the society. Second, with the finite financial resources

available, these objectives must be pursued efficiently by the system

as a whole if each unit in the system is to have the resources needed

for a quality program. In McConnell's opinion (1962, chap. 5), only

active coordination could meet these concerns because, left alone,

institutions tended to move toward a common "typical-college" form as

a result of both external (students and parents) and internal (faculty

and administrators) pressures. A laissez faire approach, therefore,

often led to duplication among schools, defeating the goals of diver-

sity and efficiency.

In general terms, other observers (Halstead, 1974, pp. 4-5, 299;

Heilbron, 1973, p. 208; Henderson, A. D., 1969, pp. 8-9) have expressed

these same reasons, and Weathersby (1971, pp. 74-75) and Leslie (1975,

p. 28) saw these reasons as coming under a single term, accountability.

In addition, Smart (1970, pp. 365-368) noted that the campus violence

of the later 1960's further encouraged public, and thus state, scrutiny

of higher education. Finally, the establishment of state planning as

a prerequisite for Federal funding and the emergence of more

sophisticated planning methods and especially the use of computers

also, according to Halstead (1974, p. 5), added impetus to the devel-

opment of coordination.

Perhaps J. L. Miller (1972) stated the need for state coordi-

nation most succinctly:

Since the state is the area to be served, only an
agency with statewide responsibilities can identify new
needs of a statewide nature, identify geographic or pro-
grammatic gaps in the system of state service, and initiate
action to fill these needs. Only a statewide agency can
speak knowledgeably and nonparochially to the state legis-
lature, governor, and budget office concerning higher
education's needs--both its continuing needs and its newly
emerging ones. Only this agency can determine the present
and projected total demand for postsecondary education in
the state and rationally allocate among the state's insti-
tutions responsibilities for meeting these several needs.
(p. 242)

As Mautz (1975a, pp. 48-49) has pointed out, although the original

factor impelling the rise of state boards and agencies to coordinate

postsecondary education was its rapid expansion, the 1970's brought

another raison d'etre, the curtailed growth-described earlier. Glenny

and Hurst (1971, p. 34) were perhaps among the first to see this new

impetus for coordination, but today its recognition is widespread.

Harcleroad (1975, p. 34) has stated that organizations tend to central-

ize during periods of financial difficulty in order to promote effi-

ciency, and both he and Glenny (1972, p. 47) have noted this trend in

postsecondary education. The individual institutions themselves have

perhaps added to what might be a natural trend by engaging in what

Millard (1974, p. 34) called survivalism. He listed some of the

factors precipitating this attitude: the decline in the college-aged

population, rising costs paired with limits in government funding,

public- and private-sector competition for these funds, and the growth

of the proprietary sector's appeal to students. Finally, the Federal

trend to promote a so-called "free market" in postsecondary education

has likely exacerbated institutional fear of the potential effects of

these factors.

Other observers have reported many of these same conditions, as

well as suggesting others adding to the desirability of state coordina-

tion. Boyer (1975, pp. 198-200) has noted a more critical attitude

toward higher education, growing both within and without it. In

addition, he has pointed out that social-policy decisions, such as

those resulting in regulations affecting hiring policies, at both the

state and Federal level often encourage or impel greater state-level

coordination. Glenny (1972, p. 47) suggested that unionism may promote

centralization of authority and that the growing move to establish

alternative structures to provide postsecondary education to more of

the population further increases institutional competition for stu-

dents. Finally, as Mautz (1975a, p. 50) has observed, the fiscal

problems of institutions are compounded by inflation.

Balderston (1975, pp. 72-76) has summed up the effect of these

factors as heightened intra- and inter-institutional stress resulting

in intrasystem conflict. This conflict--especially when a consequence

of Millard's survivalism, the attempt of each institution to preserve

and expand its own competitive position--generally does not promote

McConnell's basic postsecondary-education goals of effective and effi-

cient diversity within the system. For example, Mautz (1975a, p. 51)

pointed out that the decline in the traditional student pool has caused

a rush evident in all segments of the system to try to attract the so-

called "new" students--the less completely tapped reservoirs of

economically disadvantaged, less qualified, or older students. In

many cases, this rush may involve a school going beyond its recognized

role in a state's postsecondary-education system. Mautz specifically

cited lowered standards as one undesirable effect of this rush. Indeed

Scully (1979), discussing a recently issued Carnegie Council report,

described the situation as a crisis in academic ethics that could well

serve to erode further institutional autonomy. Equally serious if less

academically questionable is the potential for inefficient program

duplication that could result from institutional efforts to attract

students. Thus, the factors impelling the growth of state coordination

of postsecondary education seem evident. The need first appeared in an

era of rapid expansion, but it continues to exist. In fact, Millard

(1974, pp. 36-38) has stated that the coordinating process was easier

during the growth period. A steady state in postsecondary education

has not diminished the need; rather, it has merely complicated the

difficulty of the task of coordinating the state system.

Although the necessity of state coordination may seem readily

apparent, it should be recognized that at least one other basic method

has been put forth to promote the general goals of diversity and effi-

ciency within systems of postsecondary education. This alternative is

the application of the model of the competitive market to higher edu-

cation. For example, Weathersby (1971) concurred with the idea that

states have a significant stake in insuring higher education's account-

ability (basically in terms of the goals noted above) to the public,

but he pointed out that the means of doing so range from extreme

centralization, with government agencies making nearly all policy and

allocation decisions, to extreme decentralization, with consumers (the

students) ultimately making most decisions through their attendance

patterns. He suggests that the latter is likely the more accurate and

responsive method of maintaining accountability. Hoenack and Norman

(1974) and Leslie and Johnson (1974) also described the market model

approach. As set out by Leslie and Johnson, the mechanism most widely

suggested involves government financing of postsecondary education

through student grants vice the current institutional grants, i.e.,

funds budgeted by the state to institutions. Armed with their grants,

the students then shop around among the schools, which are pricing

their programs at full cost, for the programs that best meet their

needs. As the students go about choosing and paying for, with their

grants, particular programs from among those offered, the institutions

will be rewarded for efficiency, through competitive pricing; and pro-

grammatic allocations of the state funds will be distributed in exact

proportion to the population's needs. Accordingly, diversity within

the system will accurately reflect and continuously respond to the

society's requirements, and efficiency will be forced by competition.

Thus, the same goals that McConnell cited as impelling state-mandated

coordination would be met with a minimum of government intervention in

the activities of individual institutions.

A number of questions can be raised regarding the effectiveness of

this approach, ranging from ones about the details of applying the

market model to general doubts about the actual efficacy of the market

model itself. Leslie and Johnson, however, looked at its value in post-

secondary education at the most basic level. Thus, ignoring the details

of application and doubts of its underlying value, they pointed out that

the market model theory specifically assumes, if the model is to operate

as postulated, that certain conditions allowing free competition must

exist. Their analysis revealed that these conditions do not exist,

and, therefore, they concluded that the actions of student consumers

will not result in the hoped-for effects outlined above.

On the other hand, Hoenack and Norman (1974) express an opposing

view in their analysis of the model. Certainly, the ultimate value of

this approach to accountability in postsecondary education is not yet

determined. Its appeal is almost magical, because of both its simpli-

city and its foundation in values basic to American traditions; and

in light of the growing public dissatisfaction with government inter-

vention as a solution to social problems, the model will probably con-

tinue to be considered as an alternative. Nonetheless, the majority of

observers appear to believe--whether as the result of analyses based on

theoretical considerations like Leslie and Johnson's, based on common-

sense deductions like McConnell's, or based on nothing more than look-

ing at the organizational trends in the states--that state coordination

involving some degree of centralization of powers will continue to be

the nearly universal pattern. Furthermore, they generally concur that

the steady-state characteristics summarized previously can only encour-

age the centralization of the coordinating process in postsecondary

education. Glenny's opinion (1972) is representative: "What will be

needed, as it is in any time of financial restraint, is far more plan-

ning than has been done in the recent past, to utilize available

resources with greatest effectiveness" (p. 48).

A look at the development of boards to coordinate postsecondary

education seems to bear out this view. Before an examination of the

trend toward centralization of coordinating power at the state level,

it is first appropriate to classify the possible methods available, in

structural terms, to carry out this function. If one begins with the

lowest degree of centralization, the initial possibility is of course

no state-level coordinating board or agency whatsoever. Beyond that,

Glenny and Hurst (1971, pp. 22-26) classified the possible boards into

three basic types: voluntary boards, coordinating boards, and single

governing boards. Representing least centralization, voluntary boards

are made up of institutional representatives meeting together to promote

the mutual benefits from coordination of the activities of the colleges.

Glenny and Hurst noted that these associations have generally failed

to satisfy the public's need for accountability.

Next are coordinating boards. These differ from voluntary boards

in that they are state mandated. Furthermore, in nearly every case,

such boards include lay members, not just institutional representa-

tives; and usually the lay members are in the majority. As a result,

such a board is obviously more likely to provide for public accounta-

bility than is the voluntary board. On the other hand, coordinating

boards, like voluntary boards, are separated from the institutions

themselves by actual governing boards, either for single institutions

or for groups of colleges. Berdahl (1971, pp. 20-21; 1975, pp. 2-3)

further classified coordinating boards into two types, advisory and

regulatory. Advisory boards may only recommend actions, whether to the

governing boards below them or the legislative or executive arms of the

state government above. Regulatory boards, however, are those which

have at least some decision-making powers.

Last, the most centralized form is the single board governing

directly all units of a state's postsecondary-education system (with

the possible exception of all or some community colleges). The lay

membership of such boards is always dominant; indeed, there is often no

official institutional representation at all. Berdahl used the term

consolidated governing board for this type.

As one can see from Table 1, formal state-level coordination grew

considerably from 1940 to 1974. For example, the number of states with

no coordinating agency decreased from 33 to 2 during that period.

Moreover, the trend was also toward more centralized coordinating

structures. Consolidated (single) governing boards grew slowly but

steadily from 13 to 19. And, supporting Glenny's implication, noted

previously, that the no-growth era would result in greater centraliza-

tion of coordinating power, all changes from 1970 to 1974 were in that

direction. Indeed, after ten years of a nearly equal division in the

growing number of coordinating boards between advisory and regulatory

types, 1974 showed a sudden shift in favor of regulatory boards.

Table 1
Number of States by Type of State-Level
Postsecondary-Education Coordinating Structure

Type of Coordinating Year
Structure 1940 1950 1960 1965 1970 1974

No Board 33 28 17 7 2 2

Voluntary Board 0 3 6 3 2 1

Coordinating Board 1 1 5 11 13 11

Coordinating Board 1 2 6 12 14 17

Coordinating Board 13 14 16 17 19 19

Total 48 48 50 50 50 50

Berdahl, 1975, pp. 2-3


The growing centralization of the coordinating function was also

illustrated in a 1973 survey by Millard of legislative activity. As

Glenny (1974) reported it: "Twenty-three states changed statutes

relating to the powers and duties of their statewide boards, almost

invariably toward making them more representative of the general public

and more powerful in their control, review, and recommending powers"

(p. 66). The impact of the facts seems clear: Coordination of post-

secondary education is a fact of life, and the current trend is appar-

ently toward further centralization of that responsibility.

The Community Colleges and Coordination

The Growth of Community Colleges

Developments in the community college segment have generally

paralleled those of postsecondary education as a whole. Although the

first continuously existing public two-year college was not founded

until 1901 (Carnegie Commission, 1970, p. 10), these colleges have

grown rapidly in number since. According to the Education Yearbook,

1974-75 (Randall, p. 536), 511 two-year colleges existed in 1951,

enrolling about 200,000 students. (These and the following figures

include two-year branches of four-year colleges and universities,

which generally are not classed as community colleges in this study;

see "Definition of Terms.") Of these institutions, 294 were public

and enrolled over 75% of the students. Just as for postsecondary

education as a whole, the 1950's and especially the 1960's represented

a period of enormous expansion for two-year colleges. Enrollment from

1951 to 1971 rose almost 900% to over 1.7 million, more than twice the

rate for all of higher education. Most of this growth occurred within

the ten years before 1971, and during that period the number of public

two-year colleges almost doubled to 637, enrolling almost 95% of the

two-year college student body. The Carnegie Commission (1970, p. 3)

reported that at the end of the 1960's two-year college enrollments

accounted for nearly 30% of the total for undergraduates. Thus, during

its growth era, two-year colleges not only shared liberally in the

expansion of postsecondary education, but also became a very signifi-

cant part of the system. Furthermore, the Carnegie Commission (1970,

p. 6) predicted that community college enrollments would continue to

rise, both in number and percentage of undergraduate enrollment.

These predictions have proven correct; but, like that for all of

postsecondary education, the growth rate for two-year colleges has

slowed in the 1970's. From 1970 (Greene, 1972, p. 114) to 1975

(Standard Education Almanac, 1977, p. 266), the number of public two-

year colleges grew at a slightly reduced rate to 897. Two-year college

enrollments also grew to almost 4 million, at a rapid but sharply lower

rate of 80%. Still, this rate was close to three times the growth rate

for all of higher education; indeed, two-year-college enrollment growth

represented nearly two-thirds of the total growth in higher education

as a whole.

Therefore, through 1975 community colleges were continuing to

expand in number and students, yet their growth too was affected by the

steady-state era for postsecondary education that the 1970's ushered

in. All the same factors noted earlier for higher education generally,

most significantly the stabilization and projected decline in the tra-

ditional college-aged population and the increased competition for

funding, are affecting community colleges as well. However, they are

perhaps suffering less. In 1972, Glenny (p. 44) predicted that

community colleges would be the last to feel the effect of steady

state, and the numbers above seem to support his assertion. For one

thing, he (p. 46) saw a shift of students from traditional liberal

education to career training, which possibly benefited the community

colleges. In reviewing the likely future environment for postsecondary

education, Harvey (1974, pp. 518-519) saw a similar trend in the form

of an increase in short-term training. Furthermore, he felt that, in

general, any growth in enrollments that would occur through the year

2000 would have to come in the form of nontraditional--in terms of

age, ethnic group, or socio-economic level--students. Gleazer (1974,

pp. 7-10) was responding to ideas of this sort when he recommended that

community colleges, if they wanted to expand further, had to continue

to reflect their name, actively discovering and then meeting the speci-

fic needs of their communities and thus serving people as they were

rather than expecting them to fit into the traditional college-student

mold. Perhaps such trends and such actions will soften the blow of

steady state for community colleges. Of course, as noted earlier,

Mautz (1975a, p. 51) pointed out that institutions from all segments

of postsecondary education are attempting to draw the non-traditional

student. Consequently, the success community colleges have in follow-

ing Gleazer's suggestions will not be a function of their own actions


Thus, during the middle of the twentieth century, community

colleges shared the growth trends of higher education as a whole.

They shared very liberally in the era of expansion leading up to the

1970's. To their relief, they have shared somewhat less liberally in

the downturn in expansion since that time. During both periods,

however, they have shared equally, and maybe more than equally, in one

of the results of these times, the rise in state-level coordination

and control of their activities.

Factors Impelling State-Level Coordination of Community Colleges

Up through the 1950's, the state-level coordination of community

colleges was most often carried out by a state's department of educa-

tion (Martorana, 1968, p. 25); and in many cases, as in California

(Lombardi, 1968, p. 28), the coordination was minimal, with the state

department preoccupied with its K-12 responsibilities. But the 1960's

brought a greater degree of coordination and the beginning of a trend

to boards and/or agencies specifically concerned with community colleges

(Martorana, 1968, p. 25).

Erickson (1968, p. 23) saw a number of causes for this trend. As

was true for postsecondary education as a whole, growth, of course, was

a dominant factor. Thus, the rapid expansion of community colleges and

their sudden emergence as a significant part of higher education dic-

tated a need for considerably greater planning in this sector. More-

over, as a major partner in higher education, community colleges were

affected by the rise in the interdependence of planning for higher

education and public policy at the state level in general. Fiscal

considerations generating a necessity for coordination included the

increase in Federal grants to community colleges, grants often requir-

ing administration or matching by the state, and the trend to a greater

state role in community college funding. Finally, Erickson suggested

that the successful experience of states engaged in state-level master

planning for community colleges reinforced the movement to stronger

coordination elsewhere. Wattenbarger (1968, p. 10), saw similar causes,

along with pointing out others. He too noted the rapid expansion of

community colleges resulting from an escalating societal desire for

postsecondary education and the rise in state and Federal funding for

these colleges. However, he also identified other basic factors. One

was the growing mobility of the population; this resulted in a public

demand for equal educational opportunity statewide, not limited in

quality of accessibility by geography. This demand forced states to

reassert their leadership role in education, especially in the commu-

nity college arena where a high degree of local control had been

typical. Further, these causes were buttressed by a general "recogni-

tion of the value of planning and coordination" in many segments of

society and a corresponding trend to centralization.

Other observers noted additional concerns requiring or encouraging

state coordination of community colleges. Some of these were out-

growths of expansion. For example, Wattenbarger and Christofoli (1971,

p. 1) suggested that the rapid increase of courses and programs at

community colleges, a corollary of growth, was a factor impelling coor-

dination. Likewise, the rise of community colleges to a major role in

higher education resulted in the need for state leadership in the area

of articulation between community colleges and the other segments of a

state's education system, so as to ease student transfer (Cohen &

Evans, 1968, p. 32).

The increasing complexity of the relationships among community

colleges and between them and their environment was another broad area

of concern. Much of the growing complexity among the college relation-

ships was also, of course, a function of expansion, and Stuckman and

Wattenbarger (1971, p. 43) suggested that legislatures often created


stronger coordinating agencies out of a feeling that experts were needed

to meet more difficult problems with more sophisticated solutions. The

difficulty of finding solutions was further exacerbated by the swelling

number of factors impinging upon system decisions. Wattenbarger (1973)

catalogued many of these: student and faculty demands for decision

input; Federal legislation; increased activity by accrediting agencies,

foundations, and national professional and institutional associations;

and, not least, greater regulation by state executive-branch agencies

and the legislature itself. Gleazer (1973, pp. 129-135) emphasized

this last influence, state government, suggesting that it had been in

part promoted by public awareness, resulting to a degree from campus

unrest, and by the growing technical ability of government, and

especially the legislature, to obtain and digest relevant data more

easily. State involvement had also been encouraged by Federal actions,

especially the creation of 1202 commissions (Brossman, 1974, p. 95).

The result of this plethora of pressures on community college decisions

was an obvious need for a greater central authority which could assim-

ilate the burgeoning input and plan with rational regard for it. The

complexity of the situation was such that, in California at least

(Lombardi, 1968, pp. 27-28), the community colleges themselves supported

a state agency solely for these colleges as necessary to provide an

effective state-level voice for them.

A final area of concern was, as in postsecondary education as a

whole, efficiency in the use of resources. This concern took two

primary forms. One was the avoidance of unnecessary overlap in programs

offered in a state system (Cohen & Evans, 1968, p. 32), the importance

of which was largely an outgrowth of expansion. The second form that

efficiency took was the desire for a general economy in the provision

of all services by community colleges (Richardson, Blocker, & Bender,

1972, p. 23). As Gleazer (1973, pp. 129-131) noted, this desire often

manifested itself in close observation and possible regulation of some

of the detailed factors of cost. He specifically reported increasing

legislative concern with items like contact hours, salaries, and facili-

ties; and he used the term accountability to describe these and broader

concerns in the area of efficiency. An obvious impetus for this emerg-

ence of state-level concern with efficiency, as well as in large measure

for all aspects of state coordination of community colleges, was the

rise in the percentage of their funding from state-level sources, as

specifically pointed out by Cohen and Evans (1968, p. 32) and Richardson

et al. (1972, p. 25).

Thus, when all these factors and concerns are taken into account,

the strength of the forces compelling the emergence of state-level

coordination for community colleges becomes readily evident. Stuckman

(1969b) summarized this viewpoint, emphasizing the growth aspect

especially, when he concluded:

If the state's educational and occupational needs are
to be met, if each citizen of the state is to be provided
an equal educational opportunity beyond the high school no
matter where he resides, and if the junior colleges are to
develop in an orderly, planned manner, a statewide coordin-
ating agency for junior colleges appears to be a necessity.
(p. 7)

And Gleazer (1973), reflecting more directly concerns in the area of

efficiency noted:

An agency is needed at the state address
itself to statewide interests in the light of statewide
resources to meet statewide needs. This "quality control"
agency can take a dispassionate view of the capacity of
institutions to fulfill their state goals with reasonable
cost and effectiveness. (p. 194)

These statements were representative of a consensus and were

reflected in, or perhaps themselves reflected, the actual state of

affairs. In 1970, as reported by Wattenbarger and Sakaguchi (1971),

45 states had some form of state-level board exercising a degree of

control, whether governing or coordinating, over the community colleges

in their states. They saw the legal form of these boards as divided

into four classes. A state board serving only community colleges

existed in 13 states. In 12 states, a board of higher education

included the community colleges within its field of responsibility.

In 5 states a state-university-system board had jurisdiction over the

community colleges. Finally, 15 states placed these colleges under

the responsibility of a state board of education, which also exercised

K-12 responsibility. This form was the most common, but, as noted

earlier (Martorana, 1968, p. 25), even this number had declined sub-

stantially from earlier years. Singer and Grande (1971, p. 39)

suggested the trend in board form was to the first class above, state

boards solely serving community colleges, and reported that, from

1965 to 1969, 7 of the 10 states enacting legislation dealing with

state-level coordination for community colleges created boards of that

type. Further, they pointed out that about 50% of all community

colleges nationwide came under the jurisdiction of such boards. Singer

and Grande (1971, p. 42) concluded that the emergence of this particular

kind of board signaled a growth in state-level power relative to commu-

nity colleges. However, it seems fair to say that, regardless of

specific board form, state-level influence in the affairs of this

segment of postsecondary education had risen; at the very least, it

was fact that, as the period of expansion for higher education began

to draw to a close, virtually every state with community colleges had

a state-level board assuming some degree of control over them.

It was pointed out earlier that in the early 1970's postsecondary

education entered an era of slow- or no-growth and that community

colleges, though feeling the effects later and less severely, also saw

their growth rate decline and their funding become more dear. During

this steady-state period the factors impelling state-level coordination

or higher education as a whole have been perceived as even more pres-

sing, and the trend toward further centralization of coordinating

responsibilities has continued. Again, as they had in the past,

developments in the community college arena paralleled those in the

general postsecondary-education field.

Consequently, concern over the need for strong coordination of

community college systems has, if anything, become greater during the

last few years. Various factors enter into this concern. First of

all, Glenny (1974, p. 54) pointed out that the community colleges have

become more subject to sharing with all of postsecondary education the

effects of trends in the general environment. This condition has been

an outgrowth of the colleges becoming and being perceived as a full

and significant partner in the overall postsecondary-education system,

resulting initially from their enormous growth in the 1960's and now

being added to by their continued growth, relative to the entire

system, in the 1970's. From this viewpoint, Glenny saw four specific

conditions that would further strengthen the perceived necessity of

state-level community college coordination: "(1) new program develop-

ments, (2) shifts in student distribution among postsecondary schools

and among the colleges themselves, (3) leveling of state funding for

higher institutions, and (4) the commitment of states to stronger

coordination encompassing all of postsecondary education" (p. 54).

Thus, Glenny saw the apparent need for state-level coordination of

community colleges as increasing because of their fuller identification

as a part of higher education; however, the opinions of Wattenbarger

and Hansen (1975, p. 11) suggest the relationship between the colleges

and other segments of education may be even more complex. They noted

that the colleges activities overlap and interrelate not only with

those of traditional institutions of higher education but also with

those of schools, at the secondary or postsecondary level, who offer

programs in adult, continuing, or vocational-technical education. In

the past, however, coordinated planning of these overlapping activities

had not existed, yet concern from state and federal sources over

duplication and fiscal efficiency has begun demanding it. Therefore,

a new reason for greater coordination has arisen. Overall, then, the

community colleges' expanding interrelationships with other educational

institutions are, indirectly and directly, resulting in a greater

requirement for coordination of their activities by the state.

One of the most significant of the indirect effects, trends that

community colleges are sharing with all or postsecondary education, is

the stabilization of funding noted by Glenny above. Matorana and Kuhns

(1977, p. 50) reported that after increases throughout the 1960's and

up through 1971, the percentage of state revenues allotted to higher

education began to drop, and the 1977 funding level represented an

absolute drop in dollars from the previous year. Certainly, therefore,

community colleges have found themselves in a situation where competi-

tion for support is tightened. Moreover, a 1976 survey of actions by

state legislatures (Martorana & Nespoli, 1977, pp. 15-17) revealed that

the legislatures were becoming more concerned with both the method and

level of budget allocations for community colleges. Their conclusion

was that nothing particularly indicated any end to the financial prob-

lems of the colleges. The effect of this fiscal situation seems

familiarly apparent: strong coordination of the community colleges

as the state attempts to maintain the demanded diversity and quality

of services despite more stringent limitations on resources.

Another factor, related to resource limits, has also affected the

trend in coordination. As pointed out earlier, community college en-

rollments have continued to rise in the 1970's at a strong, if reduced,

rate; nonetheless, from their legislative survey, Martorana and

Nespoli (1977) concluded, "Institutional growth and expansion is no

longer a priority in state legislatures" (p. 16). Martorana and

McGuire (1976, p. 9) stated the effect of this attitude more concretely,

noting that significantly expanding programs, especially when the

expansion dictated additional facilities, and starting new colleges

had become more difficult. Obviously, the implementation of this

legislative concern again involves shifting responsibility to a state-

level coordinating agency or board.

A final factor providing impetus for coordination is the decline

in the traditional college-aged population. Once more, though commu-

nity college enrollments have not proportionately reflected this

decline for reasons suggested previously (Glenny, 1972, p. 46; Harvey,

1974, pp. 518-519), its effects do exist, directly in the form of a

reduced growth rate and indirectly through its impact on postsecondary

education as a whole. It has resulted in greater competition for

students by institutions from all segments of postsecondary education

and, consequently, at times has led to the condition described earlier

(Millard, 1974, p. 34) as survivalism. The state response to survival-

ism has necessarily been increased coordination of higher education;

and following from Glenny's postulated effect-sharing, the result is

again a strengthening of community college coordination.

Accordingly, it seems clear that the dampening of the community

college boom has merely enhanced the need perceived by the states for

coordinating this segment of postsecondary education. Indeed, a 1974

survey of 100 university professors specializing in community college

operations revealed that they believed planning--the soul of effective

coordination and the watchword of the expansion era--continued to be

the most critical issue facing these colleges (Martorana & Kuhns,

1977, p. 44). As Glenny (1974) stated, "The immediate future points

to a greater and fuller involvement [on the part of community colleges]

in the planning and financial control imposed by the state" (p. 53).

Paralleling the situation for higher education as a whole (Table

1), the forms that have evolved in state-level coordination of commu-

nity colleges in the 1970's reflect the increasingly compelling

reasons for coordination identified above and support the contention

that the power of the state-level agencies has grown. Table 2 first

indicates, for selected years, the distribution of state-level boards

most directly coordinating community colleges within each state by the

structure classification of Wattenbarger and Sakaguchi (1971). Next

these boards are distributed by their functional power, governing or

coordinating. (When a source did not explicitly place a board within

either category, the board was designated governing or coordinating on

the basis of the existence of institutional governing boards. In

other words, if no governing board stood between a state board and

that state's colleges, the state board was designated governing; the

existence of intervening governing boards classed the state board as


The variations between the 1974 and 1978 distributions do not

appear to be sufficient to warrant any conclusions, but two major

shifts between the distribution pattern for 1970 and the general

pattern exhibited in 1974 and 1978 seem definitely noteworthy. First,

when one examines the distributions of state-level boards by structure,

a clear drop in the number of systems under the jurisdiction of no

board or a state board of education can be seen, offset, of course,

by a corresponding rise in the number of states having boards in the

other three categories. Obviously, the decline of no-board states

represents a shift to a more powerful state-level structure. On the

other hand, the shift of state-level coordinating responsibility from

a state board of education to some other structure does not inherently

and invariably represent a move to greater state-level power; but it

is suggested that, as a general rule, this is indeed the intent.

Typically, under a state board of education, coordination of the

community colleges is overshadowed by K-12 concerns; moreover, the

colleges are isolated somewhat from the rest of a state's higher

education system. Thus, on the whole, shifting coordinating responsi-

bility for community colleges to a separate board or a board dealing

specifically with higher education would appear to represent, in

nearly every case, an attempt to provide for closer inspection of

community college operations and greater ability to coordinate their

Table 2
Number of States by Type and Functional Role
of State-Level Community College Coordinating Board

Type of Board 1970 1974 1978

No Board 5 2 1

State Board of Education 15 10 11

University System Board 5 10 8

Board of Higher Education 12 14 15

Community College System Board 13 14 15

Total 50 50 50

Functional Role

No Board 5 2 1

Coordinating 28 18 20

Governing 17 30 29

Total 50 50 50

Sources: 1970--Wattenbarger
Sakaguchi, 1971;
1974--Berve, 1975;



activities with those of other segments of higher education. As a

result, then, the change in the distribution of state-board structures

clearly seems to point up an increase in coordinating power over

community colleges at the state level.

A second obvious shift came in the distribution of boards identi-

fied as coordinating versus governing. In 1970 a clear majority were


coordinating; in 1974 and 1978, the reverse was true. Saying that this

shift represented an increase in state-board power needs no explanation.

Overall, then, the current trend in coordination of community

colleges is readily apparent--expanding responsibility increasingly

centralized at the state level. The consensus of a number of observers

is that this is the case, and they have revealed the factors which

have led up to and continue to support this trend. Moreover, their

contention has been unequivocally supported by the actual trend in

state-level board structures and powers. Of course, the general rule

does not apply in the case of every state. The community colleges of

Nebraska, for example, successfully fought in the legislature in 1975

and then in the state courts in 1976 to be returned to nearly full

local-board control (Paradise, 1976). Even in that case, the legisla-

ture has continued to discuss means of reinstituting state-level coor-

dination (Jacobson, 1978; Paradise, 1978). Thus, the evidence nation-

wide compels one to conclude that the significant rise of state-level

boards exercising a good deal of power over community colleges is not

likely to subside.

The Concern over Institutional Autonomy


In the previous sections, the course of higher education and

state-level coordination of it has been charted. The phenomenal

growth of institutions since World War II, peaking in the 1960's,

resulted in a rise of concern at the state level for insuring that

this expansion served state interests, effectively through appropriate

diversity of opportunity and efficiently through avoidance of unneces-

sary duplication of effort. This concern found expression in the

establishment, in nearly every state, of some board or agency to

oversee and coordinate the activities of higher education institutions.

When the era of expansion ended in the early 1970's, the perceived

need by the states for coordination of higher education did not;

instead, concern for continued system effectiveness, coupled with an

even more pronounced desire for efficiency in resource utilization,

resulted in a continuance, and often an increase, in the coordination

function at the state level.

Developments in the community college field generally paralleled

those in higher education as a whole, as also explained previously.

Through the early 1970's, these colleges grew at an even more rapid

pace than their partners in higher education; consequently, they too

saw state-level oversight over their operations grow. Since the end

of the boom in higher education, the community colleges have continued

to grow at a healthy if reduced rate; however, they have avoided the

full brunt of the slow-growth era to a lesser degree in other areas.

Like the other segments of higher education, they have seen their

funding become more dear, and they too have been subject to an increas-

ing level of state-board control in the name of accountability.

Autonomy and Coordination in Postsecondary Education Generally

As one would expect, this movement toward greater control at the

state level has caused some consternation at the institutional level

within all segments of higher education. Perhaps a statement by a

proponent of voluntary consortia (Quehl, 1972) revealed the depth of

feeling that the issue can evoke:

Originally established because they made good social,
educational, and fiscal sense, many [centralized state
systems of higher learning] have grown to deny basic
autonomy to individual campuses and erode public confidence,
often leaving individual colleges and state agencies in

adversary positions. Too often the result has been a
monolithic system that has routinized and dehumanized
education, has stimulated the rise of unionism among
faculty members, and has helped to push many states to
the brink of bankruptcy. (p. 257)

Quehl failed to support his evaluation with specific examples, and

it seems likely to be undeservably harsh; nonetheless, it indicates the

degree of the concern that has arisen.

Leslie (1975) suggested that the root of the institution/state-

board conflict is the clash of similar claims to power that, indeed,

are often legitimate and sometimes actually delegated, implicitly or

even explicitly, to both sides by state government. He stated:

On the one hand, statewide coordinating bodies demand--
legitimately--that institutions be more responsive or
accountable to the needs of society. On the other hand--
and equally legitimately--the institutions insist that they
must be left alone if they are to satisfy such purposes as
the critical evaluation of society and the transmission and
advancement of learning and wisdom. (p. 39)

Thus, Leslie and even, if one looks closely, Quehl identified the

inherent dilemma behind the conflict--the fact that state coordination

is a two-edged sword, fully capable of slaying dragons but also capable,

if it is not wielded carefully, of inadvertently beheading the damsel

in distress on the backswing. Corson (1971) described the dilemma in

more specific terms:

The surveillance [by state governments] has done much
to avoid duplication of facilities and to husband scarce
resources; but it also has curtailed the administrative
autonomy of the individual institution. It has markedly
limited the freedom with which institutional administrators
and faculties can hire personnel, build buildings, revise
curricula, and even define their own purposes. (p. 435)

Glenny, Berdahl, Palola, and Paltridge (1971) defined the problem from

the perspective of those who must attempt to solve it: "The danger of

creating a board with insufficient power is that the public interest

will not be adequately protected; in creating a board with too much

power, that the necessary autonomy and initiative of the institutions

will be threatened" (p. 6). Overall, it is apparent that the issue

of autonomy versus coordination is real and valid.

The fact that institutions of higher education require some degree

of autonomy if they are to thrive is widely agreed upon. One of the

earliest studies on the issue of institutional autonomy versus state

control (Moos & Rourke, 1959) generally endorsed the efficacy of broad

institutional autonomy. In 1963 Brumbaugh, in an early effort to

provide guidelines for the state planning and coordination process,

stated that, within the limits necessary for effective coordination,

colleges must be granted as much autonomy as possible. This basic

maxim has since often recurred in the literature. For example, an

Education Commission of the States Task Force (The Task Force on Coor-

dination, 1973) repeated the recommendation, noting that some college

autonomy is necessary if the colleges are to have the flexibility to

adapt to a shifting environment. Halstead (1974) stated that extensive

institutional autonomy is necessary to maintain academic freedom,

"preserve self-initiative," "encourage healthy competition," and "permit

a responsible balance between" college and societal interests (p. 13).

He later supported this opinion by suggesting that a college must be

recognized "as an entity with a character that must be achieved through

the pursuit of goals." Thus, like humans, colleges have "hopes and

ambitions" to fulfill and will "become nonproductive" if these desires

are not fulfilled (p. 224). Finally, Harcleroad (1975, p. 34) con-

curred in these assessments of the value of autonomy and recommended

that higher education could profit from the recent experience of large

businesses, especially conglomerates, who have learned that a good

dose of operating autonomy for system elements generally results in

maximum efficiency in resource utilization.

A number of observers have identified some of the deleterious

effects of overly zealous state coordination, though these comments

have typically been rather broad. One common plaint, reported by

McConnell (1962, pp. 141-142), is that state coordination can result

in a leveling of quality among a state's colleges. McConnell himself

felt this result was indeed a possibility but far from inevitable, and

the intervening years do not seem to have produced much evidence to

justify the fear. However, some of the suggested effects may be more

real. Chambers (1977), for example, expressed the opinion that exces-

sively detailed external control of institutional budgets could "stifle

instructional programs, confuse the faculty and students, lower their

self-esteem and add to their anxieties, and largely destroy the morale

of the whole enterprise" (p. 25). This assessment may be overstated,

but it does reflect some of the thinking of the proponents of autonomy

above. Also echoing their concerns, Balderston (1971, p. 109) stated

that state coordination can rob the campus leadership of the flexibili-

ty to respond to the concerns of internal constituencies, perhaps

lessening efficiency. Martin (1974) extended this viewpoint to suggest

that institutional administrators and faculty in a strongly coordinated

system can, perceiving themselves as relegated to implementing the

wishes of others, experience "feelings of powerlessness" (p. 32). The

ultimate irony and danger inherent in this situation was noted by

Perkins (1975, p. 193) when he pointed out that, if reduced autonomy

does impair the ability of the campus administration to operate its

institution efficiently, the likely result is increased external

control--exacerbating the original unsatisfactory situation and thus

initiating, perhaps, a spiraling deterioration. Overall, then, it

seems a reasonable foundation does exist for concern regarding the

maintenance of college autonomy in the face of state coordination.

At the same time, however, the necessity--or, at the very least,

the inevitability--of state coordination has been established previ-

ously here; and furthermore, a number of experts have argued convincing-

ly that, in some ways, state coordination may be essential in preserv-

ing institutional autonomy. For example, Mautz (1975b, p. 173)

expressed this view, noting that some centralization of power in a

state board can insure, to some extent, institutional autonomy from

undue interference by the legislature or governor. This concern over

state-government intervention was repeated by Millard (1975), saying,

"The real danger [for autonomy] is that responsibility for planning and

coordination of postsecondary education will pass out of the hands of

state agencies created for this purpose and move into the hands of

general state planning agencies, for whom education does not constitute

the first priority, or directly into executive or legislative control"

(p. 206).

Especially in his reference to the executive, Millard was reflect-

ing a worry stated earlier by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Educa-

tion (1971). They noted that, in light of increased public attention

to and growing public expenditures for higher education, governors

could and, in some cases, had become controlling forces. Though they

admitted the effect was not uniformly bad, they generally felt "that

governors should not be the dominant forces in higher education" (p. 2).

That the governors have been concerned and that their concern has

grown during the steady-state period of the last few years seems

readily apparent from previous sections on the rise of state coordina-

tion. Their attitude is forcefully illustrated by comments reported

by Magarell (1976). He quoted Gov. Sherman W. Tribbit of Delaware as

saying, "Even the most cursory glance shows that some of the funds for

higher education are ill-spent. For example, in a state as compact as

Delaware, we have six nursing programs in the institutions of higher

learning. That strikes me as extremely wasteful of our limited

resources" (p. 11). Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. of California stated

(well before Proposition 13), "We are entering an era of limits. It's

now a question of reordering priorities and choosing one program over

another, based on a rigorous standard of equity and common sense" (p.

1). Obviously, the question Mautz and others have spotlighted is who

will get to define what represents "equity and common sense." Only a

partial answer is certain: It will not be defined unilaterally by the

institutions. Consequently, higher education has been left with the

admonition of Glenny and Hurst (1971):

The choice of institutions is not between coordination
and no coordination but, rather, between effective coordina-
tion by an agency which stands in the no man's land between
the institutions and the state government and the ingestion
of coordinative powers into the executive branch of the
government. (p. 38)

Furthermore, they (p. 39) reinforced the import of this point by pre-

dicting that the development of management information systems is

facilitating this possible executive (as well as legislative) assump-

tion of power. Relatively, then, state-board coordination perhaps

takes on a more benign countenance.


In addition to concurring with the belief that a state board can

temper the impact of state government, Balderston (1971, pp. 106-109)

suggested other advantages for institutions that can accrue from an

effective state coordinating board. He noted that a college's role,

assuming it were judged legitimate and thus validated by the state's

master plan, could be protected. Likewise, appropriate budgetary needs

might be protected from attack. Internal planning could be facilitated

by the availability of state-wide data from the board and the stability

resulting from the master plan. Finally, subject to the public effec-

tiveness of its leadership, a state agency could have a positive effect

on the public perception of higher education. Taken as a whole, these

possible state-board contributions represent a stabilizing influence

on the extra-institutional environment that could aid in the preserva-

tion of essential autonomy. In addition to these possible advantages,

Johnson (1975) and Goodall (1974, pp. 226-227) suggested that the

colleges and universities may specifically welcome one aspect of state-

level coordination during the no-growth era: That is the review of

existing programs. Johnson stated that administrators "privately . .

will admit that the state-level reviews may give them more latitude

and power to eliminate weak programs that sap their funds" (p. 49). To

this, Goodall also added that legislators too may prefer to have such

potentially unpopular decisions made elsewhere. Again, therefore, the

result of state-board activity can be an indirect strengthening of

institutional autonomy.

The consensus of many observers, then, is basically represented

by a statement by the Education Commission of the States' Task Force

on Coordination, Governance and Structure of Postsecondary Education

(1973): "The task force believes that the most effective means of

preserving and enhancing the functional autonomy or reasonable inde-

pendence of institutions lies in effective planning and cooperation

with the appropriate state agencies" (p. 74).

A review of the foregoing thus reveals agreement that state-level

coordination of postsecondary education plays an important role in the

process of insuring that the needs of state government and the public

it serves are met. Accordingly, coordination is probably necessary and

certainly inevitable. Moreover, effective state boards can provide

valuable service for individual colleges and universities and can also

help protect a degree of institutional autonomy. At the same time,

however, state boards do represent a possible source of harm to post-

secondary institutions if these boards act so as to reduce institutional

autonomy to a level below that necessary to allow for the flexibility

required for effective and efficient operation. This minimum level

may have been reached in some instances; whether it has or not, the

possibility of doing so exists. During the current no- or slow-growth

era, widely expected to continue for the rest of the century, the impact

of state-level coordination on institutional autonomy will, if anything,

grow, according to Berdahl (1975, p. 1) and Ketter (1975, p. 80). In

the words of Glenny (1972), "Greater state intervention and less

institutional autonomy is a trend which will accelerate" (p. 48).

Furthermore, this trend, even if it is slowable or stoppable, can

hardly be reversed because of the significant pressures, documented

previously here, that impel coordination. In 1977, for example

Jacobson reported the ruling, on the basis of the state constitution,

of the supreme court of Nebraska protecting the power of the Regents

of the University of Nebraska to manage the school free from state-

government interference. Nonetheless, the university administrators

admitted that they had to continue to act so as to maintain harmony

with the state and its basic desires, since the legislature represented

its major source of funds. Consequently, the present environment

necessitates some coordination and an attendant decrease in autonomy,

regardless of tradition and legal structures.

Therefore, the issue of coordination versus autonomy continues to

evoke concern and will likely continue to do so. Coughlin (1977) has

provided witness to this fact of life for postsecondary education,

reporting the completion of one study in the area and the commencement

of another. The former, a Federally sponsored report, predictably

recommended additional cooperation between the Federal government, the

state governments, and the colleges "because the allocation of scarce

resources requires greater 'efficiency and coordination to prevent

overlap and costly duplication'" (p. 9). The latter was a study, to

be concluded in 1979, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on these

same Federal, state, and local relationships with, among other ques-

tions, specific regard for "how a university can reconcile its finan-

cial dependence on the Federal and state governments with its tradi-

tional autonomy and academic freedom" (p. 9).

The situation is, then, that state-level coordination is inevita-

ble, necessary, desirable, and potentially harmful. The ultimate

problem remains that stated, in representative fashion, by Martorana

(1975): "The task is to find ways to preserve the creativity and

diversity of services in postsecondary education which flow from

institutional autonomy and freedom while assuring that these advantages

do not generate a wasteful and vicious competition among the institu-

tions and systems involved" (p. 203).

The Autonomy and Coordination of Community Colleges

This same problem confronts the community colleges in particular.

It has been seen that these colleges have paralleled higher education

as a whole in terms of their growth and the growth of state-level

power to coordinate them. Likewise, concern has arisen within these

colleges over a perceived diminution of their autonomy. This concern,

of course, has similar roots to that discussed above, but in some

cases, it is further heightened by the traditional local orientation

of most community colleges.

This significant factor in the community college response to

coordination was pinpointed by Stuckman (1969b):

The concept of coordination is not compatible with
the traditional philosophy of the locally-governed commu-
nity college. In attempting to meet the educational and
occupational needs of its service community, each institu-
tion has paid little or no regard to the activities of its
neighboring institutions. Commensurate with the pattern
of local autonomy, each institution has traditionally de-
veloped its own philosophy, educational programs, and
areas of interest. (pp. 2-3)

Clearly, this attitude in part produced the need for state coordination

of the colleges; at the same time, it also explains the strong feelings

of concern over their lessened autonomy that necessarily flowed from

this coordination.

Singer and Grande (1971) expressed this concern when they indi-

cated their belief "that the one factor which, if continued, could

create the greatest change in the future direction of the community

colleges is the increased role by the state in either coordinating or

governirii institutions which historically has been played by local

agencies" (p. 38). Gleazer (1973) emphasized in more specific terms

this local/state conflict peculiar to the question of autonomy in

community colleges:

There will be more state-level boards. . Local
boards are apprehensive that this may mean decreasing
community orientation and the capacity to respond easily
and quickly to local needs. Where local boards exist,
often there is a strong sense of community loyalty and
faith in the merits of localism. (p. 137)

He added that, in systems lacking local boards, concern was growing

over the ability of the colleges to respond to local needs.

That this potential threat has concerned the local leadership of

many colleges has been revealed by surveys. For example, G. L. Hall

(1974, p. 6) noted a 1972 survey of community college trustees by Peter

K. Mills for the Association of Governing Boards. It indicated that

more than 60% of the trustees felt institutional independence to be

in danger, with 42% believing increased centralization of decision

making to be a cause. More recently, a 1975 poll of board chairman of

colleges and universities cited by Martorana and Kuhns (1977, p. 44)

revealed that 64% believed that institutional planning in the academic

realm was facing increasing intervention by the state. Moreover, this

belief was even more prevalent, at 82%, among the chairman of community

college boards. Additionally, Martorana and Kuhns (p. 45) noted Norman

Harris' report, developed from meetings with over 80 community college

presidents nationwide in 1973 and 1974, that these administrators

considered the impact of state coordination to be a major concern of

their colleges.

In evaluating the 1965 reorganization of community colleges in

Illinois into a state-coordinated system, which he strongly favored,

Erickson (1968) listed a sampling of specific questions that had or

could arise in his state over the state/college relationship:

Is the Statement of Standards and Criteria for the
Evaluation on Recognition of Illinois Public Junior Colleges
too prescriptive? Will procedures for state approval of
proposals to add new curriculums diminish local creativity
and initiative? Do procedures for approving detailed
vocational-technical curriculums and qualifications of
teachers by the State Board of Vocational Education reduce
the autonomy of local faculties for curricular development
and staffing? Are policies and procedures for state approval
of capital projects for shared funding flexible enough to
permit development of adequate campuses for truly compre-
hensive programs? (p. 26)

Obviously, the specific issues that arise will vary from state to

state, yet these questions provide an inkling of the sorts of problems

that can exist and that result in concern at the institutional level.

The initial period of growth for significant state-level coordina-

tion of community colleges was just ending when Wattenbarger (1968, p.

11) predicted, correctly it seems, that the trend in that direction was

irreversible. He then proceeded to identify the central problem that

emerged from the trend--the necessity of preserving the most significant

strengths of local control. Similarly, Martorana (1968) stated, "The

most delicate and critical issue that a state board for community

junior colleges must face is [determining] the proper relationship

to maintain between its role and that of the individual colleges it

oversees" (p. 27). As Gleazer (1973, p. 151) pointed out, the question

is properly not a simple one of "either/or" but rather the complex one

of developing an appropriate division of labor in decision making.

Stuckman (1969b) identified the difficulty in devising such a proper

allocation of roles when he noted the alternatives: "Too much authority

vested in the [state coordinating] agency is inimical to institutional

autonomy; too little authority results in little or no coordination

which is detrimental to the provision of quality education and, thus,

to the state's welfare" (p. 11). Overall, C. W. Hall (1968)

summed up the final aim in creating this effective state/local rela-

tionship as trying "to bring together, in productive harmony, the

values of statewide coordination and the vigor of local control and

responsibility" (p. 34).

The basic issue, therefore, is fundamentally the same as that

indicated for all of higher education, and the heart of the issue is

likewise similar, the dual personality of state coordination. As was

very briefly reviewed above and thoroughly established earlier, the

coordinating process clearly has valuable results for the state and

its citizens and, accordingly, has become a virtual necessity. On the

other hand, the process also holds the potential for harm if it reduces

college autonomy to a level where the college's effectiveness in meeting

the educational needs of the public is diminished. Obviously, this

potential for harm is conditional upon the assumption that autonomy,

to some degree, is a necessary ingredient for the successful operation

of a community college.

The earlier quote from Stuckman indicated that a great deal of

autonomy is generally traditional for community colleges. Yet, exis-

tence is not tantamount to necessity. However, those expressing

concern over coordination's possible effect on community college

autonomy implied, as has been seen, that this autonomy was indeed

requisite to quality; and this viewpoint is common in the literature.

For example, in 1968, after analyzing the initial rise of state-

level coordination of community colleges, Martorana (p. 29) pointed out

that these new state boards and agencies, despite their necessary value,

had, in his opinion, to grant a good deal of power to the "local admin-

istrative structure" to insure the attainment of the boards' own goals

of system and unit effectiveness and economy; the boards alone could not

efficiently operate the colleges. At about the same time, Wattenbarger

(1968, p. 9) suggested that studies to that point had placed local

control of community colleges in a position approaching the religious

qualities commonly attributed to cleanliness. These studies indicated

that the strong autonomy represented by local control generally resulted

in the rapid growth of colleges in a state system, compared to that in

state-governed systems; in more comprehensive curriculums, especially

in the occupational areas; and in higher evaluations on traditional

measures of quality, such as faculty and facilities. He did not,

however, believe the evidence completely justified calling local control

a necessary and sufficient cause of such results; nonetheless, he (p.

11) considered it clear that the strengths of autonomy should be

retained as much as possible within the structures for coordination

required by the times.

Cohen and Evans (1968, p. 32), reporting on a statewide conference

in New Jersey to develop guidelines for its state/local relationships,

identified four factors making the maximum possible local autonomy

desirable. First, as suggested above by Wattenbarger, autonomy had

historically been shown to aid college development. Second, the use

of some local taxes to support partially the colleges implied some

inherent right existed to a degree of local control over their alloca-

tion. (This basis for autonomy exists in most, but not all, states.)

Third, contemporary administrative theory, they said, indicated that

decisions should be made at the level at which they are implemented.

They considered this requirement especially important in organizations,

like the colleges, made up primarily of professionals. Fourth and last,

autonomy was necessary if the colleges were to be able to respond to

local educational needs.

Without denying the significance of the first three, the last

factor seems to dominate the arguments of supporters of reasonably

strong community college autonomy. The idea was often implicit in the

previously presented statements of concern over autonomy in these

colleges, and it is the primary item--along with local funding, less

universal and perhaps less important--that separates the issue of

community college autonomy from that of institutional autonomy for all

of higher education. Stuckman (1969b, p. 13) emphasized this factor in

stressing the importance of autonomy for these colleges, as did Zoglin

(1974) more recently. In a similar vein, Brossman (1974) noted,

"Decision making at the level where people are most affected by the

decisions in most cases provides judgements that put students first"

(p. 87). In other words, autonomy promotes responsiveness. Early in

the decade which was characterized by the explosive growth of community

colleges, the 1960's, McConnell (1962, pp. 132-133) had seen this fact

when he recommended that 2-year university extension centers were an

inadequate substitute for community colleges because, being merely

integral arms of a state university, they failed to provide programs that

met unique and diverse local demands.

A number of specific reasons why such responsiveness is critical

in community colleges have been advanced. Reflecting McConnell above

and Wattenbarger earlier, Harris (1972, p. 246) stated that the community-

needs orientation of these colleges was, in part, responsible for the

valuable diversity in vocational preparation that had become available.

Knoell (1976) pointed out--on the basis of her study of community

college students, supported by the California Postsecondary Education

Commission--that a majority of these students were part-time and had

goals that often did not fit into traditional programs, transfer or

terminal. Consequently, she argued, the colleges required a significant

level of autonomy in order to be able to create educational opportuni-

ties appropriate for these students' desires, desires that were constant-

ly changing and often unique to a single or small number of colleges

within a system. The necessity of community college responsiveness is

further underlined when it is noted, as Zoglin (1974, pp. 20-21) did,

that for many students a single community college represents their only

viable source of postsecondary education. As a result, a college in

this position must have the ability to react to any reasonably broad

demand for education within its service area.

Finally, responsiveness to its local public is not only the stock-

in-trade and raison d'etre but indeed the lifeblood of community

colleges. Gleazer (1974, p. 7) noted that this characteristic has in

the past and will in the future largely account for the growth of these

schools. As Richardson, Blocker, and Bender (1972, pp. 36-37) pointed

out, a community college, more than any other type of higher education

institution, is dependent upon community support--for money, moral

support, and students. To earn this support, the college has to be

able to provide the services desired of it. And certainly, to a great

extent, a healthy college is in the state's interest as well. Examined

closely, then the community responsiveness argument for a good deal of

community college autonomy does appear to be a strong one. When to this


argument the other factors mentioned are added, the complete case is

rather impressive.

Nonetheless, a somewhat opposite viewpoint can be taken. Reacting

to certain recommendations of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Educa-

tion, Richardson (1972) stated his belief that neither substantial local

funding nor a local governing board is essential for community colleges

and that local decisions are not inherently better than state-level

ones. He summarized his attitude by saying, "The emphasis placed upon

local autonomy, while desirable from the standpoint of those of us who

currently enjoy it, does great disservice to states such as Virginia,

Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Colorado where strong state systems have

been established and are providing excellent community college

services" (p. 26). To the extent that Richardson was saying that a

specific system structure automatically guarantees neither adequate

nor inadequate college autonomy, few would probably argue with him.

Yet, it is telling that one of the states he named as exemplary among

those with state-governed community college systems had itself admitted

the necessity of fairly strong local input. Thus, two years after its

founding in 1966, the Virginia system delegated some operating responsi-

bilities to its colleges' local advisory boards and provided for direct

local appointment of board members as opposed to appointment by the

governor (Wellman & Hamel, 1969, pp. 52-54). The point then that seems

to have been illustrated is that the process of coordinating community

colleges at the state level should recognize the value of providing at

least some local autonomy, especially given the importance of strong

college/community relations.


Consequently, the support for significant autonomy for community

colleges appears broad, clear, and generally convincing. Likewise,

however, the forces impelling state-level coordination of community

colleges, as reviewed earlier, appear to compel the conclusion that

this process too is not only inevitable but also legitimate and neces-

sary. Added to this conclusion is the fact that several observers have

suggested, as was pointed out for higher education in general, that

coordination has some potential for protecting the autonomy and inte-

grity of the individual college, in addition to benefitting the state.

For example, Richardson, Blocker, and Bender (1972, p. 31) said that an

effective coordinating board, one that has earned the confidence of the

state government and the institutions, is in a position to bring ration-

ality to the process of determining state funding, thus stabilizing

the planning environment for the colleges. A more general statement of

institutional advantage was made by Millard (1973), who expressed the

opinion that a coordinating board could "strengthen the roles and leeway

or functional autonomy of institutions in fulfilling their purposes or

reasons for being" (p. 8). Brossman (1974) provided an illustration of

how this might happen. He noted that the existence of Federally man-

dated 1202 commissions could easily lead to greater centralization of

control over community colleges, and he felt that in California the

Board of Governors of Community Colleges, the state-level coordinating

board, was the only agency that would "be able to modify it [the effect

of the 1202 commission], attenuate it, and channel it in the right

directions" (p. 95) and thus maintain the extant autonomy enjoyed by

the colleges.

In the final analysis, then, one sees in the community college

arena, as was true of postsecondary education generally, an unavoidable

conflict of desires--the state government's desire for coordination,

with its goals of meeting the public's educational requirements within

the standards of efficiency also demanded by the public, and the commu-

nity college's desire for the autonomy necessary to effect its goals,

quickly responding to local educational needs effectively and with

efficient use of not only the state's but also the local district's

resources. Obviously, both desires are legitimate; therefore, the

resolution of the conflict is not and cannot be simple, a win-or-lose

affair; rather, it must be balanced and equitable, serving to maximize

the goals of both parties.

Kerr (1975) succinctly set forth both the importance and the

difficulty of reaching such a resolution:

The basic dangers of centralized control are institu-
tional homogeneity and loss of institutional flexibility.
States can be urged to prevent these consequences by
insisting only on such controls as are absolutely necessary
and giving to institutions the greatest amount of autonomy
possible. But that is easy to say and there are no obvious
structural mechanisms to propose to guarantee such a result.
(p. 10)

The purpose of this study was not, unfortunately perhaps but

realistically, to discover and set out those ideal structural mechanisms

that have eluded Kerr. It was, however, its purpose to aid in that

search, with particular reference to community college systems.



In Chapter One, the rise of state-level coordination of post-

secondary education was traced. It was seen that after World War II

the student population of postsecondary education began growing rapidly,

and this growth continued at an increasing rate, finally reaching its

peak during the 1960's. As well as growing in size, the colleges and

universities also grew in number. Likewise, the expenditures of higher

education grew and, partially because of the greater sophistication of

programs and the required facilities, grew at a rate higher than that

of the student increase. Accordingly, government revenues dedicated

to higher education also grew absolutely and in percentage of total

budgets. In response to this growth and to other factors, state

governments began to decide that this state activity now required

greater oversight. As explained by McConnell (1962, p. 136), their

goals were primarily to insure a diversity of opportunity sufficient

to meet the educational needs of the states' citizens and to do so in

a fiscally efficient manner, so that maximum quality and quantitity

could be obtained with the finite resources available. The result of

this concern was the creation of state-level boards to coordinate and/

or govern the activities of the institutions of higher education.

In the early 1970's, the growth of the traditional college-age

population suddenly began a sharp decline. This fact, coupled with a


downturn in the economy, quickly effected a drastic slowdown in post-

secondary education's growth, ushering in an era widely termed steady

state. This situation produced not a lessening in the states' desire

to coordinate higher education, but a heightening of that desire. For

now these governments realized the harmful effects of inefficiency in

the system were even greater; and additionally, because of a slowing

growth of revenues and rising requests for services by the public, the

states' desire for operational economy increased. The result was and

has been since that time the placing of even more demands and responsi-

bilities on the shoulders of the state-level coordinating process. The

number and power of these boards has therefore continued to grow.

Within the community college field, events have generally paral-

leled those of postsecondary education as a whole. These colleges grew,

both in number of units and total number of students served, at a rate

even greater than that for postsecondary education as a whole. As a

result of this growth, the community colleges became a very significant

partner in the higher education systems of most states. Thus, they came

increasingly under the eye of the public and, therefore, of the state

governments. Prior to this era of expansion, the colleges had typically

functioned under the coordinating oversight, often insignificant, of

state boards of education. Now, however, the state governments realized,

as they did for higher education as a whole, that the maintenance of

effectiveness and efficiency, from a state-wide perspective, of

community colleges required more active state-level coordination.

Consequently, in many cases the colleges were placed under the purview

of a separate state-level board or agency or set under the oversight of

a higher education board, where they would presumably receive more


attention than they had previously. In cases in which no change in the

coordinating structure occurred, the process itself often became more


Since the early 1970's, the community colleges, like other seg-

ments of higher education, have seen their growth rate slow. They have

not, however, shared in the deleterious direct effects of the steady-

state era to the same degree as their partners have. Yet, largely

because of their new full-partner status, the colleges have fully felt

one of the indirect effects of the recent times. Just as has been true

for postsecondary education as a whole, the community colleges, overall,

have continued to come under increasing control by state-level coordin-

ating boards and agencies.

In Chapter One the reasons behind the rise of state-level coordina-

tion of both higher education generally and the community colleges

specifically were reviewed. It seemed apparent, after the views of a

number of observers were considered, that state coordination was clearly

valuable, probably necessary, and undoubtedly inevitable in most

instances. Moreover, the conditions of the current steady-state period

have only underscored these characteristics. Indeed, several commenta-

tors suggested that effective state-level coordination provided positive

results not only for the state in reaching its system-wide goals but the

institutions as well in maintaining their operational integrity, espe-

cially relative to the effects of the alternatives to state-level post-

secondary education boards and/or system boards.

Regardless of these attributes, however, individual colleges and

universities have typically viewed the trend to more active state

coordination with concern. Furthermore, from the review in Chapter One,

it appeared that, like the concerns prompting the swelling state-level

role in decision making, these counter concerns are also basically

legitimate. This legitimacy seemed especially compelling in the case

of the community colleges. These colleges inherently exist to meet a

significant portion of the postsecondary-education needs of a relatively

small local area. Their organizational health, as well as their value

to the state-wide system, heavily depends upon fulfilling this function;

consequently, they require that autonomy necessary to respond effec-

tively to local demands. And, as Knoell (1976) pointed out, these local

demands are often unique to one or a small number of community colleges

within a state system and, additionally, are constantly shifting. As a

result, the decisions a college must make cannot, in many cases, be

made effectively at the state level. At the same time, however, this

desirable and necessary local orientation of a community college rein-

forces the need for a state board to insure that local operations

correspond to the requirements of system-wide effectiveness and effi-

ciency. Martorana (1968) stated the inherent contrast well:

Local institutional boards and administrative staffs
necessarily are most concerned and best able to handle
matters that directly and specifically affect their own
institutions. They cannot and should not be expected to
give attention and meaningful direction to the broader
statewide and large regional issues and interests touching
upon community junior colleges even though the well-being
or the success of their institution may be affected seri-
ously. (p. 28)

It seems clear, then, that the situation facing postsecondary

education generally and the community colleges in particular is a

complex one. Simple solutions cannot satisfy both state and college

concerns. Effective state coordination of the institutions is vital;

likewise, some degree of college autonomy is equally vital. And overly

extensive amounts of either can seriously debilitate the functioning

of the other--to, it seems, the ultimate benefit of neither. Thus, as

Moody (1978) stated, "The reality of control of the public two-year

institutions is that control is a balance between decision making at the

state level and decision making at the institutional level. . An

intriguing challenge is the continuing search for an optimal balance

between central coordination and institutional autonomy" (p. 70).

As was stated at the conclusion of Chapter One, the purpose of

this study was not to find and present this "optimal balance." It was,

rather, to develop and provide information that will help to refine the

questions surrounding the development of more effective, if not ideal,

combinations of state-level-board and local-college roles in decision

making for community colleges and that will help in finding viable

answers to these questions. At the same time, as a part of this

process, preliminary recommendations are made.

The Problem

Statement of the Problem

The problem, therefore, of this study was to identify the issues

and nonissues in the division of governance power between the state-

level community college boards (and their staffs) and the individual

community colleges (to include local boards) and then to investigate

these identified issues and nonissues from three selected aspects.

These issues and nonissues were delineated in terms of 55 specific

governance activities and were developed from the professional opinions

of chief executives of state-level staffs and chief executives of

community colleges regarding the preferred placement, at the state or

local level or somewhere in between, of these governance activities.

Specifically, the following questions were answered.

1. For which of 55 specific governance activities did a Delphi

panel consisting of chief executives of state-level staffs and chief

executives of community colleges reach consensus, thus identifying a

nonissue, or fail to reach consensus, thus identifying an issue, on

the preferred level (from among five levels, solely state to solely

local) at which the activity should be exercised?

2. For which of the issues identified above were the differences

in professional opinion regarding the preferred placement of the govern-

ance activity related significantly to chief-executive role level (state

or local college)?

3. For which of the issues identified above were the differences

in professional opinion regarding the preferred placement of the govern-

ance activity related significantly to the type of state-level govern-

ance structure for community colleges (governing, coordinating-

governing, or coordinating board) within which the Delphi panelists


4. Did the general pattern of preferred placements of nonissue

governance activities, those for which the panel reached consensus,

tend to congruence with a pattern of governance-activity placements

hypothesized on the basis of bureaucratic administrative theory, with a

pattern based on collegial theory, or with neither pattern?


1. The study dealt only with the community college segment of

postsecondary education.

2. The study dealt with the professional opinions of community

college educators at the administrative level only, specifically (1)

chief executives of state-level staffs serving state boards or agencies

engaged indirect coordination or governance of community colleges and

(2) chief executives of community colleges.

3. The data were obtained from a 36 member Delphi panel composed

of state-level chief executives and institutional chief executives,

questioned during 1975 and 1976.


1. The random selection of the respondents from among the two

populations was limited by the fact that after selection a selectee

had to agree to be a member of the Delphi panel. The consequences of

this selection bias were impossible to identify.

2. The random selection of the respondents from among the popula-

tion of community college chief executives was limited by the fact that,

for each selected state-level chief executive, one community college

chief executive was randomly selected from the population of only the

state represented by that state-level chief executive. In other words,

the sample of community college chief executives was not randomly

selected from the entire population, and this selection bias limits

the generalizability of that sample's responses. It should be remem-

bered, however, that the bias was diminished somewhat by the fact that

the selection of the states to be represented was random, since the

selection of the state-level chief executives was random within the

limitation noted in 1 above. The reason for this departure from random

selection is explained in the later section "Sample Selection."

3. The desire for equal role (state and college) representation

on the panel dictated a sample size for community college chief execu-

tives so small relative to the population that generalizing their

opinions to the population may be unwarranted. The reason for equal

role representation is explained in the later section "Sample



In Chapter One and again briefly in the introduction to this

chapter, the growth, reaching an apex in the 1960's, of postsecondary

education as a whole and of the community college segment in particular

was noted, along with the corollary development of state-level boards

and agencies to coordinate this growth and maximize system effectiveness

in terms of meeting state postsecondary-education needs and utilizing

state financial resources most efficiently. The 1970's brought a decline

in this growth, ushering in the steady-state era, predicted to last

perhaps until the end of the century. This period of slow or no growth

in postsecondary education did not, however, bring any relief from the

trend to centralization of power in the hands of state boards. In

fact, for reasons explained previously, the trend escalated.

The development and strengthening of these boards in turn precipi-

tated concern over the effect the state-level role in coordination and

governance of postsecondary education might have upon traditional

institutional autonomy. The studies of Moos and Rourke and of Glenny

in 1959 generally marked the surfacing of this issue as one of major

significance. Moos and Rourke (1959) defended the importance of

institutional autonomy. Glenny (1959), on the other hand, suggested

that necessary state coordination and adequate institutional autonomy

were not mutually exclusive; but he agreed that the issue was critical,

saying, "The greatest single problem of coordination is how to

achieve . its] objectives without destroying the initiative, flexi-

bility, and diversity of the public institutions" (p. 263). This

issue was reviewed in some detail in Chapter One and one conclusion

seemed clear: The problem is real and, furthermore, is complex. It

was evident that a degree of state-level power is probably necessary

and, in any case, inevitable. At the same time, the case for a degree

of institutional autonomy was also convincing. For community colleges

specifically, the contradictory nature of the issue was even more

glaring. Because of the local orientation of their mission, these

colleges clearly require the autonomy necessary to allow effective

response to shifting educational needs, sometimes unique to their

service areas. Yet this inherently requisite local orientation makes

it more difficult for these colleges to consider adequately state-wide

concerns in planning or operating; as a result, this necessary autonomy

must be balanced by state-level oversight. As many observers have

noted, striking this balance, while undoubtedly vital, is an extremely

complex and delicate task.

One approach to this task is to attempt to specify in concrete

terms the roles in governance and decision making that each level

should play. In 1963, in one of the earlier statements of guidelines

for state-level activity, Brumbaugh implied the usefulness of this

approach when he recommended that a state agency should limit itself

to planning and coordinating, vice getting involved in managing insti-

tutions. Yet, in order to do so, he noted, the agency needed a clear

understanding of exactly what constituted the appropriate planning and

coordinating activities.

Nonetheless, by 1974, Halstead, in an excellent restatement of

the fundamental problem, revealed that no real answer had been reached.

He stated:

The debate regarding centralized versus decentralized
authority in higher education has progressed beyond arguing
the relative advantages and disadvantages of each. Discus-
sion of the pros and cons of both central coordination and
institutional autonomy has resulted in considerable agree-
ment among educators about the relative merits of both
practices. The evidence also reveals--and herein lies the
crux of the controversy--that a winning combination is a
yet unidentified balance which would retain most of the
advantages of central control with a minimal sacrifice of
institutional sovereignty. What persists as a continu-
ing and intriguing challenge--and an issue of no little
disagreement--is the search for a compromise between cen-
tral coordination and autonomy that would create an optimal
balance. (p. 11)

Thus, Halstead felt that no balanced allocation of roles had been

made, despite the fact that the need had been expressed earlier.

Moreover, this lack of concrete recommendations existed even though

a recognition of their desirability was clearly widespread, as pointed

out in Chapter One of this study, and a direct recognition of their

usefulness had been expressed by a task force of the Education

Commission of the States. That body's Task Force on Coordination,

Governance and Structure of Postsecondary Education (1973) had stated

that the "clarification of levels of administrative responsibility" was

one of the prime questions facing state planners. They went on to say,

"Each state should delineate levels of authority of coordination and

governance and develop state plans that suggest levels of decision

making consistent with these authorities" (p. 71).

The value in specifying state and college governance and decision-

making roles has also been recognized relative to community college

systems in particular, and again this recognition has been longstanding.

Wattenbarger (1968, p. 11), for example, pointed out that in 1965 B.

Lamar Johnson noted the necessity of clearly defining and assigning

the authority and duties of both the state and local elements in a

community college system; and Schultz and Wattenbarger (1968, p. 27)

reemphasized this point. At about this same time, Martorana (1968, p.

26) too underscored its importance, suggesting that clarifying the

state/college relationship was among the three major tasks facing any

state-level community college agency. Moreover, he believed it to be

"the most delicate and critical issue" of the three (p. 27). Likewise,

Stuckman (1969b) stated shortly later, "If the process of coordination

is to serve the state's welfare, the designated roles and prescribed

authority of the statewide coordinating agency vis-a-vis the junior

colleges should be precisely defined" (p. 11).

In 1972, the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges

(Note 1) repeated this concern. A draft of the 1972 A.A.C.J.C. Assem-

bly report proposed:

In order to clarify areas of decision-making authority
and responsibility, state agencies and multicampus colleges,
in cooperation with local colleges and the communities they
serve, should develop a taxonomy of decision specifying to
the extent possible those areas of authority which will be
reserved to the local college to give it adequate freedom
to respond to the needs of its own constituency. (p. 8)

Since that time concern over more adequate and concrete role

clarification has continued to exist. For example, in 1974, G. L. Hall

reported a survey of chairmen of state-level boards overseeing community

colleges, and 47% of the respondents indicated that such boards needed

a clearer definition of their specific role (pp. 18, 36). Additionally,

Martorana and McGuire (1976) noted that, in a survey of legislative

activity in 26 states and Puerto Rico from 1973 to 1975, over two-thirds

of the states acted on bills related to state-wide coordination, and

many of these represented attempts to clarify state-level-board roles

(pp. 8-9). They concluded that "the issue of how best to balance the

state-level and local-level control to achieve a statewide system of

postsecondary education is not yet effectively resolved" (p. 17).

From the discussion in the first chapter, then, one can conclude

that widespread and legitimate concern does exist regarding state-

level versus local-college decision-making roles, for postsecondary

education in general and the community colleges in particular. As

noted above, a number of observers have suggested that concretely

clarifying the appropriate powers for each level would be a very

useful response to this concern over roles. The fact that the desire

for this clarification continues to be stated indicates that no satis-

factory response has been made. The literature on state-level coor-

dination and governance has grown rapidly in recent years, but no

clear and detailed statements of state and local decision-making roles

exist. Many of the studies are primarily descriptive, focusing on the

governance structures and operational procedures of a single state or

of selected states. Some are comparative and evaluative, but the

prescriptive suggestions that have resulted have generally been broadly

conceptual in nature. Consequently, in light of the concerns voiced

previously and the dearth of adequate responses to these concerns in

the literature, especially for the community college field, a study

dealing in specific terms with the division of decision-making powers

between state-level boards and the individual community colleges

seemed valuable.

As was pointed out in the statement of the problem, the purpose of

this study was not to provide a definitive answer to these concerns, a

concrete and all-encompassing list of what should be done by whom.

Rather, it was to provide information that would significantly aid

in the ultimate development of detailed taxonomies such as recommended

earlier by the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges.

To this end, four tasks were undertaken: the concrete delineation of

decisions that must be made, the identification of the areas of agree-

ment and controversy regarding the level at which the delineated

decisions should be made, the determination of the relationship of

selected factors to areas of controversy, and finally the investigation

of the applicability of two basic administrative theories to defining

state and local roles in decision making.

First, then, 55 decisions were delineated that, in most states,

must be made at some level, state or local. A lack of comprehensive-

ness and concreteness has characterized past studies, a fact which is

reflected in the previously cited calls for clarification of the roles

of the elements in state systems. This concrete delineation of

required decisions may provide a more adequate base for future studies

in this area.

Second, the identification of the areas of agreement and disagree-

ment among professional community college administrators from the state

and local-college levels regarding the preferred division of specific

decision-making powers between the state boards and the local colleges

more precisely clarified the actual issues within the general contro-

versy. This clarification may help future researchers concentrate

their focus on the most important aspects of the problem. Thus, they

will be able to narrow themselves to examining those specific decision

areas where actual controversy remains, consequently enhancing their

efficiency and effectiveness. At the same time, a compilation of the

decision areas where agreement does exist regarding the level at which


they should be made can immediately begin to serve as a recommendation

to be considered in the allocation of powers within state community

college systems.

Third, the relationship of two factors--respondent role level (state

or local college) and respondent governance-structure environment

(whether the state-level board had governing, coordinating-governing,

or coordinating-only authority)--to the existence of disagreement over

the placement of specific decision-making powers was analyzed. Doing

so adds to the understanding of the problems and therefore may aid in

their resolution and, again, can allow future studies to be focused

more clearly on appropriate aspects of the issues.

Finally, it was determined whether bureaucratic administrative theory,

collegial theory, or neither theory appeared to explain the pattern of

decision-making-power assignments for which agreement existed. This

facet of the study contributes to the establishment of a theoretical

foundation for the design of coordinating and governing structures for

state systems of community colleges and, as a result, can again aid in

the resolution of governance-power conflicts between state-level boards

and the individual colleges. The application of basic administrative

theory to the coordination-autonomy issue in postsecondary education has

been touched upon only briefly in the literature, even though the poten-

tial value of doing so has been noted.

For example, in 1968 Schultz and Wattenbarger recommended the

development of "clearly stated principles which may be used to determine

those decisions that should be made at the institution level and those

that should be made at the state level" (p. 27). Similarly, Stuckman


(1969a), at the conclusion of his study on the administrative imple-

mentation, and its institution-level effects, of selected functions

by two state-level-agency staffs for community colleges, stated:

Responsibilities . inherent in the coordinating
process beg for definition ana delineation as regards
who, i.e., the state coordinating agency staff or the
local governing board of a junior college and institu-
tional administrators and teaching faculty, should make
which decisions. It is recommended that a study be con-
ducted with the purpose being to formulate principles which
could serve as guides to state coordinating agency staff
members who must daily tread the thin line between insti-
tutional autonomy and institutional accountability to the
state. (p. 115)

Certainly, it would seem that the most adequate approach to the

derivation of broadly meaningful principles to guide the appropriate

assignment of decision-making powers is through the application of

administrative theory to the design of state postsecondary-education

system structures and practices. The assumption is that theoretically

derived principles can prove more universally useful and more mutually

consistent than principles derived solely from opinion and experience.

One objection that might be raised regarding the use of traditional

administrative theory in examining and prescribing college/state-

system relationships is that these theories typically focus on the

functioning of humans within an organization, vice organizations within

larger organizations. Yet the characteristics of human organizations

fundamentally reflect the characteristics of their members; thus,

similar theoretical concepts would likely exist for both. In this

vein, Halstead (1974) saw a college "as an entity with a character

that must be achieved through the pursuit of goals" (p. 224) and

requiring management from above basically corresponding to that


required to encourage human productivity. The application of existing

theory would consequently appear valuable.

While others have called for principles, Martorana (1975) appeared

to state the utility of a theoretical approach more directly. He


If planning and coordination were more carefully defined
and refined in their functions and were buttressed by a
sounder knowledge based on their philosophies as well as
their techniques, . .the evils that now seem inherent
in the coordinating organizations [he had specified
stultifying centralization of control] can perhaps be
avoided at the same time that the promises they also seem
to hold could be enhanced. (p. 203)

It seems reasonable to perceive of Martorana's operational "philoso-

phies" as theories guiding actions. More recently, Wattenbarger (1977)

looked at the allocation of decision responsibility in multiunit

districts of community colleges, a category in which he included state

systems with a single state-level governing board. He noted that

little actual research exists to guide such allocations and then

stated, "The need for a theoretical base is apparent" (p. 12). One

purpose of this study was to provide a beginning step in developing

that base.

In summary, then, this study contributes in four primary ways to

the eventual resolution of the problems arising from the conflicting

requirements of state coordination and college autonomy, with particular

reference to the community colleges. First, it provides a possible

framework for additional research by delineating, as concretely and

comprehensively as generally practical, those decision-making powers

that must be allocated between state-level boards and local boards/

colleges. Second, it aids the more efficient focusing of future

research by identifying those decision-making powers whose specific

implementation level is widely agreed upon, nonissues, and those whose

level is not agreed upon, the issues requiring resolution. Third, it

also aids in sharpening the focus of future research by analyzing the

relationship between professional opinions on power-allocation issues

and two factors--professional role level, state or local, and profes-

sional governing/coordinating-structure environment. Finally, it

represents an initial step towards providing a theoretical base for

continuing research in this area. It is hoped and believed that these

contributions will prove useful to the deeper understanding of the

coordinating process, its promises and potential pitfalls.

Definition of Terms

1. Chief Executive of a Community College--For the purposes of

this study, the highest administrative officer of a community college

(variously called the president, chancellor, etc.) was considered the

chief executive of the community college.

2. Chief Executive of a State-Level Staff--For the purposes of

this study, the highest administrative officer of a state-level staff

for community colleges (variously called the state director, chancellor,

etc.) was considered the chief executive of the state-level staff.

Operationally, these persons were defined as each state's representa-

tive member of the National Council of State Directors of Community-

Junior Colleges as of the July 30, 1974, membership list.

3. Community College--For the purposes of this study, a public,

two-year, postsecondary educational institution or group of institutions

organized as an administrative unit at the first level below the state

and identified by the 1975 Community, Junior, and Technical College

Directory (Drake, 1975) as being a community, junior, or technical

college or college district and as having a comprehensive (transfer

and technical) program was considered a community college, whether

it was a single-campus, multicampus, or multiunit structure.

4. Consensus--For the purposes of this study, consensus of

respondent opinion regarding the preferred placement of a particular

governance activity at one of five levels, solely at the state level

to solely at the college level, was considered to exist if at least

one-half of the respondents placed the activity at the same level and

at least a total of three-quarters of the respondents placed it at

that level, the level immediately higher, or the level immediately


5. Delphi Technique--The Delphi technique is a process for

eliciting the opinions of a number of persons using a sequential

series of interrogations (usually a questionnaire) interspersed with

anonymous feedback consisting of a statistical summary of the responses

of the group, called a panel, being questioned. The technique is

designed to replace face-to-face conferences or one-time surveys.

6. Governance Activity--For the purpose of this study, each

specific decision-making power that is exercised by a state-level board

for community colleges, its state-level staff, a local community college

governing or advisory board, or a community college administration and

staff and that noticeably affects the implementation of the college's

educational mission was considered a governance activity.

7. Issue--For the purposes of this study, a governance activity

was identified as an issue when the respondents failed to reach consensus

regarding the preferred placement of that governance activity.

8. Nonissue--For the purposes of this study, a governance

activity was identified as a nonissue when the respondents reached

consensus regarding the preferred placement of that governance


9. State-Level Staff--For the purposes of this study, the pro-

fessional staff that is responsible for community college operations

and that serves the state-level educational board most directly con-

cerned with the coordination and/or governance of community colleges

within that state was considered the state-level staff.


The following null hypotheses were proposed in order to guide the

analysis of the data.

1. For each governance activity, no consensus exists among the

respondents regarding the preferred placement of that activity.

2. For each issue, no significant difference exists between the

opinions of state-level chief executives and of community college chief

executives regarding the preferred placement of that activity.

3. For each issue, no significant difference exists among the

opinions of chief executives from states with a state-level governing

board, from states with a state-level coordinating-governing board, and

from states with a state-level coordinating board responsible for

community colleges.

4a. For all nonissues, the consensus placement of these governance

activities by the respondents is not significantly congruent with the

placement suggested by bureaucratic administrative theory.

4b. For all nonissues, the consensus placement of these govern-

ance activities by the respondents is not significantly congruent with

the placement suggested by collegial administrative theory.



In the study the general steps outlined below and detailed in

subsequent sections were followed. First, a sample of chief executives

of state-level staffs and chief executives of community colleges was

selected. Then an initial list of governance activities was developed

from the literature, and from these, phase I of the Delphi questionnaire

was constructed and sent out. Respondent opinion on the governance

activities and the questionnaire format obtained by phase I was used

to construct the phase II and III forms, and these were sent out in

turn. The data gathered by phase III were then analyzed, in terms of

the hypotheses stated above, in order to answer the specific questions

posed in the statement of the problem.

Sample Selection

After it had been decided to approach a study of the conflict

between state-level coordination of community colleges and the autonomy

of these colleges by attempting to identify the issues and nonissues

regarding what governance powers each level should exercise, it was

necessary to determine how these issues and nonissues could be identi-

fied. It seemed logical to do this on the basis of the considered

opinions of those professionals most directly concerned and affected

by the problems of state-wide coordination and its institutional impact,

chief executives of state-level staffs and of community colleges.

Stuckman and Wattenbarger (1971, p. 44) seemed to have supported this

logic when they had suggested that, if coordination's strengths were

to be realized and its pitfalls avoided, the specific roles of a state-

level board and a state's community colleges should be mutually

delineated by these partners in the state system. If this suggestion

were to be followed, a sample of persons representing these two points

of view was necessary. Chief executives from the two levels appeared

most desirable. As professionals, in contrast to lay board members at

either level, they likely had a deeper and more informed understanding

of the controversy. As chief executives, in contrast to lower-level

administrators, they likely had a more comprehensive understanding of

coordination's impact, good and bad, on all facets of their organiza-

tions' operations. Consequently, it was decided to approach the general

problem through a Delphi-technique interrogation of chief executives

from the two levels, state and college.

Next, the specific composition of the panel was considered. First,

it was hypothesized that chief-executive level, state or college, would

be related to their opinions on preferred placement of governance

activities. Therefore, since the Delphi technique provides intermedi-

ate feedback on respondent opinions before the respondents make their

final choices, it was felt necessary that neither level dominate the

panel. As a result, a panel equally divided between state-level and

community college chief executives was decided upon. Second, it was

hypothesized that the governance structure of the system in which a

chief executive worked would be related to his preferred placement of

governance activities. Although it was believed that this factor

would be adequately represented by a random sample of states, it was

considered important that chief executives from each governance

structure again be equally divided by state and college level so that

no one level would dominate any particular governance structure.

Accordingly, it was decided to match state-level and community college

chief executives by state. Finally, a total Delphi-panel size of 40

was chosen, since this number seemed manageable but, with 20 state

systems represented, seemed to provide the desired national perspective.

These guidelines having been set forth, the actual selection of

the panel was begun in February, 1975. Initially, the chief executives

of state-level staffs were chosen. First, from a 1974 list of members

of the National Council of State Directors of Community-Junior

Colleges, 33 chief executives were chosen using a table of random numbers

and recorded in the order chosen. The first 20 were then sent a letter

(Appendix A) explaining the study and requesting their participation.

They were asked to respond, yes or no, with a stamped, self-addressed

post card provided. One of the initial 20 declined the request; thus

the 21st state-level chief executive on the ordered list was sent the

letter requesting participation. His acceptance completed the state-

level chief-executive portion of the panel.

Next chief executives of community colleges were selected for the

panel. From each state represented by a state-level chief executive,

three chief executives of community colleges (as defined previously)

were randomly selected from the listings in the 1975 Community, Junior,

and Technical College Directory (Drake, 1975) and recorded in the order

chosen. Then the first community college chief executive recorded from

each state was sent the invitation letter noted above. Three weeks

later, those who had not responded were sent the invitation letter

again, along with a cover letter (Appendix B). Of the initial 20

community college chief executives invited to serve on the panel, 17

agreed to do so. When a negative answer was received, the second

chief executive on the ordered list for that state was sent the invi-

tation. All three second choices agreed to serve on the panel, and

the sample selection was completed.

Therefore, the planned sample of the study, the Delphi panel,

consisted of 20 chief executives of state-level staffs and 20 chief

executives of community colleges. The actual sample, however, varied

from this slightly. First, one state-level and three community college

chief executives, after agreeing to serve, failed to respond to any of

the three phases of the Delphi interrogation. Second, in two instances

at the state level and one at the college level, the chief executive

delegated responsibility for answering the questionnaires to an admin-

istrator serving directly below him. It is not believed that this

action had any deleterious effect on the validity of the study, since

these respondents were professionals fulfilling the spirit underlying

the sample design. The actual sample, then, consisted of 17 chief

executives and 2 "vice" chief executives of state-level staffs, and

16 chief executives and 1 "vice" chief executive of community colleges.

The panel is listed in Appendix C. A total of 19 states were repre-

sented--17 by respondents from both levels and 2 by respondents from

the state-level only.

Phase I

During the time that the sample was being selected, the governance

activities were being identified and written, and the phase I ques-

tionnaire was being prepared. The governance items were developed from

the literature supplemented by the observations of the author. The

latter was necessary because, as noted earlier, no concrete and

comprehensive list of governing decisions required at the state and/or

college level existed; nonetheless, several sources contributed signi-

ficantly to this task: Most notable were studies by the Carnegie

Commission on Higher Education (1973); Glenny, Berdahl, Palola, and

Paltridge (1971); and Wattenbarger and Sakaguchi (1971). In addition,

unpublished information, provided by Dr. John C. Mundt, on an internal

study being done in the State of Washington regarding its state/local

community college relationships (Note 2) yielded valuable ideas. His

unsolicited aid was appreciated. As the governance activities were

being written and compiled, it was desired that they comprehensively

cover the total controversy but that each item be specific and concrete.

At the same time, however, it was preferred to limit the total number

of items so that answering the questionnaires would not unduly tax the

schedules of the respondents. Consequently, the desire for comprehen-

siveness and for specificity had to be balanced. The result was a

list of 55 governance activities.

After the governance activities had been identified and written,

the phase I questionnaire itself was constructed. This form (Appendix

D) contained the question that would be asked on the phases II and III

forms--at what level, in their professional opinion, should each of the

governing items preferably be exercised at?--and stated the five

levels--solely at the state agency/board level to solely at the local

community college/board level--from which they would be asked to choose.

With these future directions in mind, the respondents were asked to

indicate whether each of the 55 governance-activity items (1) was

clearly stated and appropriate for consideration; (2) was appropriate

but unclearly stated; (3) should have been combined with another item,

which they were asked to identify; or (4) was not appropriate for

consideration and should have been deleted. They were asked to rewrite

the unclear items (2 above) and, if possible, the combined items (3

above). Finally, they were invited to add any additional items they

felt should be included. The form also included a place to report

address changes and a brief five-question survey soliciting information

regarding the governance structure of their state community college


During the last week in June, 1975, the phase I forms were sent

to the respondents. A stamped, self-addressed return envelope was

provided. Since knowing the identity of the person completing the

form was essential for data analysis, the first answer page of each

questionnaire carried an obvious abbreviation identifying the respond-

ent, for example, NY/S for New York's state-level chief executive.

This was done in case the chief executive removed the attached cover

letter before answering and returning the form; an abbreviation,

rather than the name, was used merely for convenience. A reminder

post card was sent as necessary after 3 weeks.

Of the 40 members of the Delphi panel, 33 or 82.5%, from 19

states, returned phase I (91.7% of the ultimate panel size of 36

described in the previous section). A 34th respondent returned the

form uncompleted, noting his regret at not being able to participate

further. For every governance item, a clear majority--the least was

22; nearly all were in the high 20's--indicated the item was clear and

appropriate. A single chief executive suggested one item to be added.

As a result, the list of 55 governance activities was retained for

phases II and III without alteration, except for minor changes in

wording in response to those suggestions that did seem to strengthen

an item's clarity without altering the basic phrasing deemed good by

the majority. In phase I the panelists had also been invited to comment

on the definitions of the governance-level choices to be used in the

next two phases; no comments were offered. Thus, the results of phase

I appeared to support the design of the phase II and III forms.

Phase II

After the phase I responses were reviewed, the phase II form was

developed. This questionnaire (Appendix E) explicitly defined, just

as was set forth in phase I, the five possible levels at which a

governance activity could be placed and then listed the 55 governance

activities, asking the respondents to indicate at what level each

should be exercised. This indication was made by circling the appro-

priate number on a 5-point scale accompanying each item. Again each

questionnaire included a place to report address changes, and each

carried the abbreviation designating the responding chief executive.

Two cover letters were written, one for those having answered phase

I (Appendix F) and one for those not having answered (Appendix G).

A questionnaire and the appropriate cover letter, along with a stamped,

self-addressed envelope, were mailed to each of the panelists in

August, 1975.

On phase II, 28 or 70% of the designed panelists (77.8% of the

ultimate panel size) returned the questionnaire, again representing the

same 19 states. The responses for each governance activity were tabu-

lated, and the interquartile range was figured. In other words, for

each governance activity, the placement levels on the scale in which

the middle half of the responses fell were identified. The number of

levels covered by the middle half ranged from only one level to three

levels, with two being the most common.

Phase III

With the data obtained from phase II, the phase III questionnaire

was developed. The phase III form (Appendix H) was identical to the

phase II one, with two exceptions. First, on the response scale for

each governance activity, the levels (numbers) representing the inter-

quartile range identified above for that item were underlined. In

this way, anonymous feedback regarding the phase II results was pro-

vided the respondents so they could consider this information as they

decided upon their final answers for the Delphi survey. Second, the

directions for phase III were expanded to explain the feedback method

to the respondents. Again, as was done for phase II, two cover letters

were written, one for chief executives having answered phase II

(Appendix I) and one for those not having answered phase II (Appendix

J). A phase III questionnaire, along with the appropriate cover letter

and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, was sent to each of the panelists

in late January, 1976. An abbreviation identifying the respondent was

placed on the questionnaires as before.

Representing the same 19 states, 33 panelists (82.5% of the planned

panel and 91.7% of the panelists actually participating) returned the

phase III form, ending the data collection portion of the study. As

initially designed, the Delphi technique (the theory of which is

explained in some detail in Chapter Three) usually involved four phases,

the last repeating the third and the second with small changes.

However, Cyphert and Gant (1971, p. 273) suggested the fourth phase was

probably unnecessary, noting that it produced few changes in the

responses. Consequently, a fourth phase was not used in this study.

Since an additional phase is likely to produce a further convergence

of the opinions, in this case its deletion may in fact lend greater

credence to the identification of nonissues, those governance activities

for which consensus existed regarding their preferred-placement level.

For the entire Delphi interrogation, then, 36 of the 40 Delphi

panelists responded to one or more phases, as described in "Sample

Selection" earlier. Among the 36, 3 responded to only one phase (1 to

II and 2 to III); 8 responded to two phases (all but 2 of these to the

first and last); and 25 responded to all three. This 25 represented

69.4% of the actual panel of 36 and 62.5% of the planned 40-member

panel, and it included chief executives from 16 states.

Level Assignment of Governance Activities by Theory

The next required step in the study was to place each governance

item at the level, in terms of the 5-point scale, at which bureau-

cratic, and then collegial, administrative theory appeared to indicate

it should properly be exercised. In order to do so, first guidelines

for both theories were developed, on the basis of a selected review of

the theories, to apply in determining the theoretical placement of the

governance activities. Stating explicit guidelines was deemed essential

if the theoretical placements of the governance activities were to

maintain consistency throughout the 55-item list. Clearly, such

consistency was necessary to protect whatever validity the hypothetical

placements had within each theory. These guidelines are presented at

the end of the section on theory in Chapter Three. Once the guidelines

had been developed, the actual assignment of governance items to the

levels at which they theoretically should be exercised was done,

first for bureaucratic and then collegial administrative theory.

Data Analyses

With the completion of phase III of the Delphi interrogation and

the development of theoretical governance-activity placements, the

analysis of the data on the basis of the five hypotheses set forth

previously could begin, in order to answer the four questions specified

in the statement of the problem.

So that the first hypothesis could be considered, the phase III

data were initially tabulated for each governance activity to show how

many respondents believed that particular activity should be exercised

at each of the five alternative levels. Then the data for each acti-

vity were inspected to see if consensus, as defined previously, existed

among the chief executives regarding at what level the activity should

be exercised. Those items for which consensus existed were identified

as nonissues, and those for which no consensus existed were considered


Next, the second question of the study was considered, dealing

with the relationship between respondent role level and opinions regard-

ing the preferred placement of each governance-activity issue. In

order to do so, the panel responses for each issue were divided, at

each of the five levels, into two groups, those of state-level chief

executives and those of college-level chief executives. Then the

second null hypothesis, no significant difference between the responses

of chief executives at the state-level vice the college-level, was

tested with a nonparametric test of one-way analysis of variance for

two groups, the Mann-Whitney U test (Siegel, 1956, pp. 116-127). For


this hypothesis, as well as those following, nonparametric tests were

chosen largely because the data represented ordinal measurement (in

terms of the 5-point scale) rather than the interval measurement

required by parametric tests. In this case, since no specific direc-

tion for the differences was hypothesized, a two-tailed test was used;

and the level of significance was set at .05. The calculations included

the correction for ties as set forth by Siegel.

The third question of the study, whether responses on issues were

related to the system governance structure within which the panelists

worked, was looked at next. For this question, the responses for each

issue and at each alternative level within that issue were divided into

three groups: those responses from chief executives, regardless of

level, working in a state with a state-level board exercising coordina-

tion power over community colleges; those from chief executives working

in a state having a state-level board with coordinating-governing power

over the colleges; and those from chief executives working in a state

having a state-level board with governing power over the colleges.

These figures were then analyzed relative to the third hypothesis, no

difference in responses among these three groups of chief executives.

The hypothesis was tested for each governance activity using the

Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis-of-variance test (Siegel, 1956, pp.

184-193), a test applicable to k (three or more) groups. Just as for

the second hypothesis, a two-tailed test was used, the significance

level was set at .05, and the statistic was corrected for ties.

Finally, the data were analyzed in terms of the fourth question

of the study, whether the consensus preferred placement of nonissues

was congruent with the hypothesized placement of those governance

activities based upon bureaucratic or upon collegial administrative

theory, or neither. In other words, did either theory appear to

underlie, whether consciously or not, the thinking of the chief

executives for those governance activities on whose preferred place-

ment they agreed. The data were placed into two sets for this analysis

one pairing the consensus placement of each nonissue with the hypothe-

sized placement of it based upon bureaucratic administrative theory and

the other pairing each nonissue placement with its hypothesized colle-

gial counterpart. The corresponding null hypothesis (number 4a or 4b)

was then tested for each set. The hypotheses, identical except for the

theory concerned, postulated no significant congruence between respond-

ent placement and hypothesized placement.

Unfortunately, no single practical statistic exists to test the

degree of congruence, the tendency to overlap exactly, of paired data.

However, congruence can be seen as being made up of two elements,

correlation and equality of central tendency. For example, if one had

two ordered lists of numbers, therefore each number on one list being

paired with the number next to it on the other list, the lists would

be perfectly congruent if each pair of numbers consisted of two identi-

cal numbers, for example, 2, 2; 13, 13; 6, 6; etc. These congruent

lists would have a perfect positive correlation and exactly the same

central tendency (median in the case of numbers representing ordinal

measurement). On the other hand, two ordered lists that had a perfect

positive correlation but had different medians would not be perfectly

congruent. They would not overlap; the second number in each pair

would always be different from the first, and the magnitude and direc-

tion of the difference would be the same for every pair. Likewise, if

the two lists had the same medians, one would know nothing about the

relationships within the pairs. Thus, taken singly, correlation and

median tell one nothing about congruence; taken together, they define

it. Accordingly, testing for both of these elements was used as a

test for congruence.

For each of the 2 sets of paired data, then, the following process

was used to test the corresponding hypothesis. First, a set of paired

data was tested for a significant difference in the central tendency,

the median, of consensus placements and hypothesized placements. This

was done using a nonparametric two-way analysis-of-variance statistic,

the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test (Siegel, 1956, pp. 75-83).

A two-tailed test was used, and the level of significance was set at

.05. If no significant difference in central tendency was found (one

of the elements of congruence), then the correlation was calculated

using a nonparametric statistic, the Spearman rank correlation coeffi-

cient (Siegel, 1956, pp. 202-213). The formula appropriate for use

with ties was the one used to figure the coefficient. Next, the sig-

nificance of the resulting coefficient was calculated. Since only a

positive correlation corresponds to congruence, a one-tailed test was

used; and the level of significance was set at .025. Finally, then,

if no significant difference in medians and a significant correlation

were found, the null hypothesis, no significant congruence, was re-


Organization of the Report

The remainder of this report consists of a review of selected

pertinent literature, the report of the results of the data analyses, a

discussion of the implications of the analyses, and a summary of the


study and its possible usefulness. Chapter Three contains the review

of related literature. First, selected writings on state-level coor-

dination of higher education generally and of community colleges in

particular are reviewed, with emphasis on opinions and recommendations

regarding system governance structure and the division of governance

responsibilities between the state and the institutions. Next, a brief

review of administrative theory and its application to higher education

and state coordination of higher education is provided, primarily to

present some background in this area as it relates to the study. Last

is a discussion of the Delphi technique, its structure and use.

Chapter Four contains the results of the study, the data analyses for

each of the four questions in the statement of the problem. In

Chapter Five these results are examined for their implications regard-

ing the assignment of governance responsibilities to state-level boards

and to institutions. The nonissues and then the issues are discussed,

governance activity by governance activity. Finally, Chapter Six

contains a summary of the study, comments on its broader implications,

and suggestions for further research on the controversies surrounding

state coordination of community colleges and of higher education

institutions generally.



In Chapter One the background of the controversy over state

coordination of postsecondary education and its impact on the autonomy

of institutions was examined. Reviewed in this chapter is material

more directly related to the exact topic explored by the study, the

division of governance power between state-level boards and individual

colleges and the applicability of administrative theory to this process.

Additionally, background information on the research method used in

the study, the Delphi technique, is presented.

Accordingly, first are reported a number of works containing

information, opinions, and/or guidelines regarding the allocation

of decision-making responsibilities to the states and the colleges.

This portion of the chapter is divided into two sections, one on

higher education generally and one reporting studies on community

colleges in particular. Next, a background for the theoretical

aspect of the study is presented. The bureaucratic and collegial

administrative theories are briefly explained, and then some studies

suggesting their applications to the administration of postsecondary

institutions and systems are reviewed. Finally the methodology and

uses of the Delphi technique are reviewed.

State Coordination and Higher Education

In this section materials dealing with state coordination and

higher education as a whole are examined. The review is primarily

limited to identifying the information presented by past observers

relative to the division of governance powers between state-level

boards and individual institutions. Descriptive studies are not

included; that past and current practice is not entirely satisfactory

is indicated in Chapter One. Rather, the intent is to present pro-

fessional thought on what should be done. The review is basically

organized chronologically, except that multiple writings by an author

are usually grouped together. Published works of the current decade

are represented most thoroughly, but some of the most significant

earlier contributions in the field are also reviewed briefly.

Two of these early studies appeared in 1959. Moos and Rourke

studied the effect of several facets of state government, including

state coordination agencies, upon the autonomy of public institutions

granting at least the baccalaureate degree. The study surveyed and

reported the existence of state-government agencies affecting the

activities of colleges and summarized generally anecdotal reports of

the impact of these agencies upon the institutions. However, no

attempt was made to identify systematically specific state actions

which were considered to have a clearly adverse effect upon the


At the same time, a book by Glenny (1959) dealt specifically and

primarily with state coordination of higher education. He traced its

historical development, identified and evaluated three forms of state-

coordination structures, and delineated and examined four major

state-agency functions. These were (1) planning and policy making,

(2) function and program allocation, (3) budgeting institutional

operations, and (4) budgeting capital outlay projects.

Since that study, Glenny has commented several times on state

coordination. Among these, in 1971 he and Hurst updated the basic

information in the 1959 work. Again, he saw three major types of

state boards: voluntary boards, single governing boards, and

coordinating boards. He and Hurst suggested that at first glance

single boards seemed to have the greatest potential because of the

power they wield; yet, they said, research had revealed that coordinat-

ing boards performed nearly all functions as satisfactorily as single

boards and that coordinating boards were superior in long-range

planning, a function they considered paramount. Consequently, they

recommended the coordinating structure over a state-level governing

board. Generally following Glenny's 1959 classification, they saw

several powers as necessary for an effective state-level board.

Master planning for the system was identified as the central activity

of the board, but they did note that the trend in this area was to

carry out this function so as to require public and system-element

input, often by assigning the planning responsibility to standing or

ad hoc committees rather than solely to the board staff. Additionally,

they said, effective master planning required evaluation of the plan's

implementation; and accordingly, boards had to have the power to

collect data from the institutions. The other powers they considered

vital were the "authority to approve or disapprove all new programs

and new campuses; to review operating and capital budgets; [and] to

set certain admission standards, tuition, and fees" (p. 25). The

first two largely represented functions necessary to the implementa-

tion of master planning. The third also fell into this category,

but they did not clarify what certain meant. Finally, they suggested

that a steady-state era (just approaching at that time) might

necessitate board approval power over existing, as well as new,


In this same year, Glenny was senior author of one of the most

complete sets of guidelines for state-level-board operations. In

this work (Glenny, Berdahl, Palola, & Paltridge, 1971), the authors

again expressed a preference for coordinating vice governing boards

at the state level because of their flexibility and their strength

in the planning area. They repeated all the necessary board powers

delineated by Glenny and Hurst but added a few. Short-range planning

was specifically included in the planning function. Without reserva-

tion, they recommended approval power over existing institutional

programs and also recommended that the entire range of approval

powers be exercised over private colleges in cases where state funding

was significant. They added one completely new power, that the

board "administer directly or have under its coordinative powers

all state scholarship and grant programs to students, grant programs

to nonpublic institutions, and all state-administered federal grant

and aid programs" (p. 7). At the same time, in nearly every case

they suggested that these functions be carried out in a manner formally

providing for college-level input.

In addition the study specified areas where decision making

should be reserved for the institutions. Briefly, these areas

included (1) student affairs, except for master-plan mandates in

general admission standards and enrollment ceilings and mixes;

(2) faculty affairs, including salaries and negotiations except as

affected by funding levels; (3) hiring and appointment, including

college-level chief executives and board members; (4) staff travel

approval; (5) content and methods of programs, courses, and

research; (6) college-level contractual relationships; and (7)

maintenance of campus law and order. They also felt that colleges

should be free of most state procedural controls (often emanating

from state agencies other than the board) such as pre-audits, central

purchasing, or central staff-personnel procurement. Finally, and

perhaps interestingly, the authors believed that both the state

board and individual institutions should be able to present and

defend their own budget recommendations before the legislature.

A 1972 article by Glenny added little to the above, except that

he emphasized that steady state would heighten the impact of state-

level-board activities on the colleges. One contrast did exist; he

now foresaw the possibility of professional negotiations gravitating

to the state level to the degree that funding-level decisions were

made at that level.

Another of the early significant studies appeared in 1962.

McConnell in this book presented what its title named, A General

Pattern for American Public Higher Education. In doing so, he

provided a clear, thorough, and convincing foundation on which the

concept of the state system could be firmly placed. Having laid this

base, he went on to discuss the state-level structure required of such

a system and examined the values and the weaknesses of state-level

coordination. He added little, however, in terms of concrete

solutions to the controversies surrounding the delineation of state-

level powers, primarily reiterating the functions identified by

Glenny before him as the basic activities that should be exercised

by a state board.

In 1963, Brumbaugh set forth one of the earliest sets of guide-

lines for effective state-level functioning. In terms of specific

state-board powers, however, he did not contribute much to what had

come before. As others had done, he emphasized the central nature of

planning and plan implementation to state-board activities.

A. D. Henderson examined the control of higher education in 1969,

examining the exercise of authority both within institutions and over

institutions by the state. On the latter topic, he tried to identify

the fundamental characteristic separating appropriate state versus

institutional powers. Curiously perhaps, though he had introduced

administrative theory into his discussion of intrainstitutional

management, he did not use this approach in his discussion of a

system's management. At this level he suggested that state-board

powers revolved around political, or public-policy, questions, while

describing legitimate institutional questions as being educational.

Taking this avenue of analysis, he ended up with the familiar maxims

of the state role centering around planning and coordination of the

state system and the institutional role in governance centering on


By 1970, articles and books dealing with state coordination of

higher education began to appear much more frequently, especially in

terms of works going beyond merely describing the practice, and

perhaps the thinking behind it, in one particular state. In one such

article with this broader perspective, Morton (1970) saw state-level

boards as occupying a position between state government and higher

education and saw their effectiveness as necessitating the "middle-

man" role. Becoming too closely identified with either side would,

he believed, decrease their effectiveness. Morton perceived the four

fundamental functions of state boards to be (1) the development of

state higher-education goals, (2) the assessment of existing insti-

tutions in light of these goals, (3) the assignment of institutional

role and scope, and (4) the evaluation of financial resources availa-

ble and necessary to meet the goals set. Like others, then, he saw

state-board activities as centering on master planning and its

implementation and on budget review, especially as it related to


Smart (1970) examined state board activities relative to the

crises that surrounded the Vietnam-War-era campuses and state-capitol

reactions to these crises. While his focus was limited, Smart's

suggestions probably apply generally to the action-reaction relation-

ship that often exists between state governments and higher education.

He believed that state boards had failed to address this problem and

recommended that they prepare, in effect, opinion papers attempting

to balance the public interest and institutional welfare on such

topics as "academic freedom, free speech on the campus, student

behavior in the community and academic jeopardy, student and faculty

rights and responsibilities, and maintenance of order on campus" (pp.

375-376). He did not state that a state-level board should unilater-

ally set college policy in these areas but rather exercise some

leadership for these campus-level decisions and be ready with a

framework on which to base, at short notice, fully considered advice

to state governments reacting to a sudden crisis. Smart, therefore,

was saying that state boards should assume a leadership role even in

areas where a direct role in decision making was inappropriate.

A major work appearing in 1970 and 1971 was a three-year study

of state-wide planning in higher education and its institutional

effects. The research consisted of in-depth case studies of four

states with a history of state-level planning: California, Florida,

Illinois, and New York. It was reported in two books, one on state-

level planning (Palola, Lehmann, & Blischke, 1970) and a second on

college-level planning (Palola & Padgett, 1971). In the first, the

authors concluded that state planning had typically improved both

institutional performance and autonomy, though noting that the formal

(specifically granted) autonomy of the colleges had been restricted.

Additionally, they suggested that a slowing of system growth (at that

time just beginning to loom on the horizon) could cause further

restriction of both formal and actual autonomy. They considered

program formulation the prime function of educational planning and

broadly defined a division of labor in this area. The state-wide

agency would delineate the basic missions and roles of the higher-

education segments of the state, such as the community colleges, the

regional universities, and the state universities. Where existing,

segmental boards or agencies would do the same for the institutions

under them; and the institutions would decide upon their own program

needs. The second report, while primarily focusing on college-level

planning and processes, reiterated this division of labor and

recommended that the colleges, within their assigned role, be given

wide latitude in developing their programs and curriculum.

In addition to the second report from the above study, 1971 saw

the appearance of other significant works investigating state coor-

dination of higher education. Two of these, coauthored by Glenny,

were described earlier. Another important contribution was by

Berdahl. This book reported his study of 19 state-level coordinating

agencies. On the basis of his study, Berdahl suggested that state-

level-board activities should primarily be in substantive vice

procedural areas. These proper areas were basically those often

mentioned previously: planning, program review and approval, budget

review, and capital outlay review. Procedural controls, on the other

hand, he saw as more deleterious to education than valuable to

efficiency. Thus, he decried overly binding line-item budgets,

preaudits, central purchasing and personnel arrangements, and other

intrusions into internal institutional management. He did consider

necessary, however, state-board actions affecting procedure when they

were required in support of the substantive functions above, for

example, postaudits, the setting of budget format, and defining

standard measures for data reporting.

In the same year, Hefferlin (1971) took another approach to

reach similar ends. He suggested that the concept of professional-

ism could serve as a basis for determining the proper governance role

of state-level boards, and especially their staffs, relative to the

governance role to be reserved to the institutions. From the viewpoint

of professionalism, laymen decide upon the results the professionals

should produce while the professionals then figure out how to reach

these results. However, exactly how state-level staff and board

members fit into this concept is not clear. As Hefferlin pointed


On the one hand, to the legislator and the governor
they are professionals. As such, they must recommend
policies for adoption; but decisions about these
policies rest with elected officials while alternatives
for implementing them remain with the board. On the
other hand, in dealing with individual institutions,
the planner and the board are not professionals,
knowledgeable about separate campuses and their opera-
tion; they are laymen, and they must leave the means of
attaining results up to campus experts. (p. 58)

From this point of view, the state-board/institution relationship

again leaves, as suggested by Berdahl, the state board making

substantive decisions and the colleges making procedural ones. But

Hefferlin's analysis revealed a sticking point. From the state

government's perspective, state boards are assigned responsibility

for results and are delegated the authority as professionals to

exercise this responsibility; yet, when applied to the state-board/

institution relationship, the professionalism concept, at least at

first glance, largely robs the state board and its staff of the

authority required by their responsibility. Thus, Hefferlin's

article added little to contemporary recommendations regarding

state-board versus college governance roles, but perhaps it did

contribute, without fully recognizing it, to an appreciation of

the complexity of the dilemma.

Balderston (1971) looked first at the advantages and disadvan-

tages state coordination held for institutions and then from this

base commented on a proper state-level role. Chapter One contained

Balderston's stated advantages and disadvantages, but very briefly,

he saw state coordination as bringing a desirable stability to the

environment in which colleges must operate through its master planning

and budget-review functions, as serving as an efficient distributor

of state-wide data it has gathered and of funds (especially Federal),

and as having the potential to present effectively higher education's

case to the public and the government; however, he felt state boards

could easily upset institutional efficiency by interfering with

internal management and lessening internal morale, especially through

their program-review function. Basically Balderston recommended that

the state-board function in the same general areas suggested by

others; he strongly recommended, however, that in all of its activi-

ties a state board should be required to include strong institutional

participation in decision making. State-board powers, he felt, should

be clearly defined and limited.

Also in 1971, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education looked

at, as its study's subtitle stated, State Responsibility for Postsec-

ondary Education. Put very simply, they concluded that the state was

responsible for it but should not interfere with it. In this view,

the Commission suggested that the state board should act solely in

the areas of long-range planning and consulting, the latter apparently

being defined as giving advice to the colleges and the state govern-

ment. Fortunately, the Commission took a closer look at state-board

functions in 1973, and this time they came up with one of the more

concrete sets of guidelines that exist.

In this 1973 statement, the Commission acknowledged both the

importance and inexorable growth of state power over institutions of

higher education and even shied away, unnecessarily it seemed, from

using the word autonomy in reference to the state/institution

relationship. They suggested that the connotations of autonomy were

too strong and instead preferred to talk in terms of institutional

independence in certain areas, specifically citing aspects of

"intellectual conduct," "academic affairs," and "administrative

arrangements" (p. 18). Briefly, this independence amounted to

preserving traditional academic freedom, providing the schools wide

latitude in the design of program and course content and methodology,

and allowing college administrations considerable internal freedom

in fiscal and personnel management. Based upon this foundation, the

Commission then tabulated, matched in comprehensiveness and concrete-

ness only by the guidelines of Glenny et al. (1971), responsibilities

falling to the state and its board and to the institutions and their

boards. They suggested the state should have rather strong power in

some of the traditional areas within master planning, especially

relative to size and growth. Thus they recommended state-level

decisions regarding subsystem and institutional role and scope, the

establishment of new campuses and major program areas (such as a new

college within a university), and size controls directly and through

control of the total number of admissions, student mix by level, and

subsystem admission standards. They recommended institutional

independence in individual admissions, faculty selection, and course

content and academic standards for courses and programs. In

contrast to Glenny and most others noted earlier, they also suggested

that institutions be free to develop new programs falling within

assigned role and scope. In a similar view, they felt innovation by

the colleges should be encouraged, but not mandated, by the state-

level board through advice, grants, and funding incentives; however,

decisions on the actual implementation of these innovations should

still be made by the institutions. Regarding budgetary and fiscal

concerns, the Commission made recommendations that again followed the

pattern set above. They considered state-level responsibilities to

be determining the level of institutional appropriations and evaluat-

ing the effectiveness of institutional use of these funds. Accordingly,

they recommended funding in both the operational- and capital-budget

areas primarily on the basis of formulas. On the other hand, intra-

institutional budgeting was seen as a role of the campus administra-

tion. Likewise, the assignment and use of personnel and the design

and utilization of facilities were considered institutional responsi-

bilities. State-level evaluation of these campus decisions was seen

as appropriate on a postaudit, vice a preaudit, basis. In order to

carry out this evaluative function, the state would set the standards

to be used and the accounting methods required. The Commission departed

from these basic guidelines only to recommend state control over the

general level of salaries, but again, deciding upon individual

salaries was considered a campus activity. In short, the commission

discouraged state budget review on a line-item basis other than in

postaudits. Overall, then, the Commission recommended state-level

powers in terms of setting the basic parameters within which the

campus leadership would be free to operate in the manner it considered

most satisfactory.

Meanwhile, in 1972 J. L. Miller had suggested what might be

seen as a "federal" approach to the allocation of power in higher

education. In his view, state-level boards should be granted only

those responsibilities that can be effectively exercised only by an

organization with a state-wide outlook, and all other powers should

be reserved for the institutions. While this concept is noteworthy,

its application resulted in a division of powers basically correspond-

ing to those set forth previously. Thus, he saw necessary state-level

activities to be centered around long-range planning and the oversight

of the implementation of such planning. Specific powers required to

carry out the above included making institutional role assignments

and reviewing and recommending to the state government college operating

budgets and, to a degree, capital budgets. Unlike the Carnegie

Commission but like most other observers, he believed the state-level

board needed the authority to review new programs in the colleges.

His opinion regarding the review of existing college programs was

more tentative. He felt it often unduly antagonized the institutions

yet suggested it was very probably necessary in order to complement

and insure the integrity of the board's authority for new-program

review. Reflecting the ideas of Hefferlin (1971) and others, he

considered institutional power to be characterized as deciding upon

the most appropriate means by which to fulfill the objectives assigned

the institution by the state-level board, primarily through its long-

range plans.

In addition to the important contribution of the Carnegie

Commission, a number of other articles and studies touching upon

state-level powers in higher-education decision making appeared in

1973. Among these, Coffman (1973) discussed the impact of a planned

program budgeting system (PPBS) on state-level activities. In his

opinion the use of PPBS requires a governing board at the state

level. Accordingly, he envisioned a greater state role in the

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