Academic journal article College and University

Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services

Academic journal article College and University

Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services

Article excerpt

Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services By Robert C. Dickeson

Jossey-Bass 1999

$26.95

176 pages

This deceptively slim volume with the brightly colored dust jacket packs a wealth of practical information on how to go about setting priorities in an academic institution. The author's career has taken him into higher education, government, and business, including twenty years in toplevel positions in two universities. In describing the theoretical framework for priority setting, he makes liberal use of practical examples, many taken from his own experience. This gives life to the text and encourages the reader to apply the principles discussed.

Although aimed at the highest levels of a campus administration, there are lessons for middle managers as well. Reassessing commitments and moving to reallocate resources will not happen, as the author states, in the absence of strong leadership at all levels of the hierarchy.

A forceful case is made for accountability and the need to review both academic and non-academic programs to measure their effectiveness and worth in relation to the institution's mission. Selecting the appropriate criteria to be examined, collecting data, establishing a rating system, and determining the levels of review and decision-making are discussed with some specificity and reference to the world in which we live. …

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