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Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Fred Muskal

First Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Second Committee Member

Virginia Dixon

Third Committee Member

Thomas Nelson

Abstract

This study examined how four provosts dealt with a range of financially related problems to reposition their universities in the current higher education environment. The four provosts agreed to in-depth interviews. A quantitative profile of each institution was developed to provide a meaningful context for the interviews. All four universities benefited from a rising economy at the time, so the findings may not apply in different circumstances. The methods of the provosts fell along a continuum that linked three distinctive styles. Each institution began with an Analytic style that responded in a reactive way to the problems that demanded immediate attention. Two of the institutions exemplified this style. As one provost began to get control of issues, he began to examine how to prepare for the future. The combination of dealing with immediate issues and restructuring administrative decision-making was termed a Transition style. One provost functioned in a Strategic style; i.e., he had used opportunities to professionalize his staff to gather important data, use strategic indicators, and orient decision-making toward consolidating and enhancing the university's position. The role of stakeholders in the university changed as universities moved along the continuum. Faculty were very important and involved in the Analytic style, and critical to the survival of the university. Transitional style faculty objected to the change in mission as professional programs were added to the liberal arts curriculum, but generally supported redirection efforts. In the Strategic style, decisions tended to be data-driven and made by professional staff, with faculty having a limited role, if any, especially in long range planning. Administrators relied heavily on faculty in the Analytic style, and progressively less in the Transitional and Strategic styles. Recent Association of Governing Board positions suggest that trustees will impose mission and direction on administrators, so the balance among stakeholders in the university will continue to shift.

Pages

147

ISBN

9780493180304 , 0493180303

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