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Title:A Comparative Study of the Higher Education Policies in the Fifty American States
Author(s):Knibbs, Linda Gail
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:The need for a more systematic examination of state higher education policies was the inspiration for this study. The first step was to examine some of the major characteristics of higher education systems in the fifty states in an attempt to develop a quantitative measure of higher education policy. The next step was to determine the extent to which a state's higher education policy is a function of its socioeconomic and political environments. The assumption that higher education policy, or any policy, is a function of the socioeconomic and/or political environments of a state is founded on Easton's systems analysis framework and on Key's study of political competition. The work of these two political scientists was integrated by various scholars in the 1960s and a basic model for public policy analysis was established.
Three dimensions of state higher education policy were selected: the state's fiscal commitment, faculty prestige, and types of degrees awarded. The dimensions identified for a state's political environment were competition, structure, professionalism, and fiscal structure. The dimensions identified for a state's socioeconomic environment were wealth, industrialization, urbanization, and education. In addition, the states' higher education organizational structure was included as an independent variable.
Multiple regression analysis of the three higher education policy variables on the independent environmental variables resulted in the following findings. Four independent variables representing regionalism, degrees awarded, and professionalism of state employees explained 42.2 percent of the variance in the state fiscal commitment measure. Three independent variables representing organizational structure and regionalism explained 66.8 percent of the variance in the faculty prestige measure. Five independent variables representing education, regionalism, affluence, and democratic culture explained 38.6 percent of the variance in the first measure of degree types awarded. Three independent variables representing affluence, democratic culture, and regionalism explained 36.9 percent of the variance in the second measure of degree types awarded. And two independent variables representing affluence and democratic culture explained 85.9 percent of the variance in the total degrees awarded measure.
Issue Date:1981
Description:99 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8203504
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1981

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