Autonomous to serve

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Autonomous to serve
Governing bodies,
autonomy,
and responsiveness of US universities
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
2
Overview
• historical background of US colleges’
autonomy
• autonomy of public and private higher
education institutions (HEIs)
• basics of the structure of US HEIs
• governing bodies and external governance
• governing bodies in relation to other
university authorities
• governing bodies and adaptability of US HEIs
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
3
Autonomy—the very beginnings
• College, later named after
John Harvard, was established in 1636
• at first it was fully under
the authority of the General Court of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony
• 1642—the creation of the board of overseers:
– governor, deputy governor, president of the school, six
clergymen from Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown,
Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester
• 1650—Harvard Corporation: school’s independency
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
4
Autonomy—colonial times
• Harvard Corporation consisted of 7 members
(including president and treasures)
• self-perpetuating body
• the decisions were to be confirmed by board of
overseers
• sometimes such situation made decision-process
difficult
• after 1782 the situation changed and Harvard
gained full autonomy
• the pattern of Harvard College was followed by
other colonial colleges, including king’s colleges
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
5
Independency and autonomy
• Just after the American Revolution there
were two philosophies of state/governmentHEI relationship:
– closer dependency and use of HEIs as means of
public policy (e.g.: „the enduring dream” of
federal national university)
– greater autonomy and independency of colleges
and universities (strongly supported by private
schools)
• the result of the clash: Dartmouth v.
Woodward case in 1819
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
6
Dartmouth case
• 1815 because of the conflicts between the
president—John Wheelock—and the board of
trustees, Wheelock was dismissed
• later—the General Court of New Hampshire tried to
change the college charter
• Wheelock sued New Hampshire to the Supreme
Court
• John Marshal (the Chief Justice) explained that no
external force can change the nature of the college
• “there shall be in the said Dartmouth College, from
henceforth and forever, a body politic consisting of
trustees of said Dartmouth College.”
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
7
Public universities autonomy
• Moore v. Board of Regents of University of the
State of New York in 1977 secured the autonomy of
the institutions of higher education
• it ruled that only the board of trustees has right to
amend programs of studies, not state agency,
controlling higher education
• In Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 1957, Justice Felix
Frankfurter defined the autonomy of HEI as the
right:
– “to determine for itself on academic grounds who may
teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and
who may be admitted to study.”
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
8
Dartmouth Case
• Decision of the Supreme Court secured the
autonomy of private institutions
• they are ruled by the most important regulation:
their own charter, therefore they do not have to
grant some constitutional rights, including freedom
of speech
• Dartmouth case does not influence state-public
institution relations directly
• public institutions are (at least theoretically):
– state founded
– state funded
– state controlled
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
9
Typical structure of US HEI
• at the very top:
– governing body (called: board of trustees, board
of overseers, board of governors)
• the board:
– hires and fires the president
– shapes the mission of the institution
– supervises crucial financial decisions
• the president is the executive officer of the
school, reports directly and only to the board
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
10
Typical structure of US HEI
• president is responsible for the administration of the
school:
– hires and fires (usually at his/her discretion) officers
– implements school’s mission in everyday activity
– is responsible for school’s cooperation with external
bodies (including government and business)
• academic elective bodies (e.g. senate):
– they are loosing their importance
– tend to be advisory bodies (president enjoys the only real
executive power)
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
11
Governing board
• as the self-perpetuating body, the board is
responsible for its composition itself
• public schools have to obey state regulations
(eg. a person or a number of persons
appointed by governor)
• especially among public schools: some
members are appointed by senates
• once established board remains
independent: „arm’s length” rule protects
from too strong political influence
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
12
Governing board
• this is not the representation of the faculty
members (i.e. senate)
• its consists of elected or appointed members
• usually the majority are the alumni of the
school
• they do not to be academics, rather
successful entrepreneurs
• they know the demands of the labor market
since many of them are employers
themselves
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
13
Governing board
• serves as the buffer and mediator between
the school and external forces (including
government)
• it is the guardian of the autonomy
• even in public schools the government
(federal, state, and local) cannot force them
to change programs of studies or close less
popular ones
• such decisions must be approved by the
board
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
14
Autonomy and responsiveness
• the challenges of the 1980s forced US HEIs
to be more market-oriented and open to the
demands of students and labor market
• responsiveness meant response to those
demands
• president in collaboration with the board can
easily and quickly change the offer of the
school
• they do not need to wait until government
adopt new policies
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
15
Autonomous to serve
• many scholars and administrators
call for more responsive university
• autonomy does not mean seclusion
• autonomy means openness to new
challenges
• schools not dependent to government and
politicians can respond:
– quicker
– more reasonable
– cheaper
Dr. Radoslaw Rybkowski: Autonomous to serve
[email protected]
Drivers of Change: What Can We
Learn?
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