High balancing act

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education released in June a report on Virginia's restructuring of their public higher education system. The foreword states:
an almost perennial tug-of-war has existed between the states and their colleges and universities: the states seeking more control over their institutions, and these institutions seeking greater autonomy.
Analyzing the 2002 Virginia conflict involving the setting of tuitions, the report's author found Virginia's statewide examination and discussion of institutional management and accountability "yielded an almost unprecedented broad legislative 'reconstruction' of Virginia's public higher education system in 2005."
The resulting groundbreaking legislation promises now to serve as a valuable framework for eliciting measurable institutional progress toward explicit public policy goals in exchange for a state commitment to funding and institutional autonomy in certain key areas.
The accountability of public colleges and universities to public policy goals is felt to be necessarily balanced by higher education's need for "an appropriate degree of flexibility in the means by which they achieve these goals."

Checks and Balances at Work: The Restructuring of Virginia's Public Higher Education System (June 2006, pdf, 105 pages/338 kB)

Executive Summary (available in html)



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