Managing Colleges and Universities: Issues for Leadership

By Allan M. Hoffman; Randal W. Summers | Go to book overview

5
Successfully Managing Higher Education Consortia/Partnerships

Albert B. Smith, Ronald D. Opp, Randy L. Armstrong, Gloria A. Stewart, and Randall J. Isaacson


INTRODUCTION

The phenomenal proliferation of interinstitutional cooperation and consortia within the American system of higher education has for many years been a topic of intense interest for managers of all aspects of higher education. A review of the literature reveals a wide range of theories and opinions concerning all of the various components and elements of contemporary educational partnerships. Whereas structured and unstructured institutional linkages within the American higher education system have been a recognized entity for many decades, modern consortia are in and of themselves a relatively new phenomenon ( Neal 1988). There is an ample body of evidence to support the oft-stated contention that the age of substantial interinstitutional cooperation in American higher education is less than 40 years old. According to Neal ( 1988), the contemporary concept of consortia and interinstitutional cooperation lumbered forth from the primordial ooze of academe during the "golden years" of the 1960s and early 1970s when higher education was operating in an expansionist mode. Whereas these cooperative programs and agreements were the avenues of growth and expansion during the 1960s, today they are becoming vehicles for consolidation, focus, and self-preservation ( Pritzen 1988). Historically, the intent and purpose of American academic cooperation fostered by consortial arrangements has run the gamut from government-mandated collaboration to interinstitutional altruism. A common thread appears to be the notion of strength in numbers and common purpose. In other words, as a member

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