Cost Containment for Higher Education: Strategies for Public Policy and Institutional Administration

By William Brand Simpson | Go to book overview

12
Governance and Administration as Factors in Cost Containment

WHY GOVERNANCE?

Of the troubles that may befall a college or university, perhaps the most unnoticed at the time, yet pervasive and unfortunate, is the drift into pro forma performance in instruction and administration. Established ways are adhered to and carried through so as to require the least effort. Awkward questions about the meaningfulness of activities are avoided. Questioning as to what objectives should be served, and to what end products and benefits are sought, becomes an assignment to an articulate colleague when reaccreditation comes around.

Partly as cause, partly as effect, administrators with a housekeeping rather than a leadership outlook tend to hold office. With many administrative levels between faculty members and those making the critical decisions on the allocation of resources, administrators are both circumscribed in the exercise of initiative and find their security through becoming embedded in the administrative structure. Administrative positions gradually come to attract those who do not see this to be an unfortunate development.

An institution tends to settle into established ways of viewing its role and accomplishing its objectives. The various parties reach a mutual accommodation. Those who could change the situation are reluctant to disturb it. Those who feel they could not do so successfully do not make the effort. Faculty government may appear effective yet may be acting in the absence of a dynamic campus president. The real cost

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