Type of Document Dissertation Author Black, Michael M. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-03062008-193543 Title Capital Funding and Institutional Growth: A Case Study of Regional State Universities Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Robert A. Schwartz Committee Chair Dale W. Lick Committee Member Lance M. deHaven-Smith Committee Member Shouping Hu Committee Member Keywords
- Higher Education
Date of Defense 2008-03-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis historical case study investigated policy issues and other factors which affected public, higher education capital funding and overall growth at two mid-sized, regional, state universities located in a Southeastern state in the U.S. during the period 1975 to 2005. The construct, policy issues, and two subsidiary constructs, capital appropriations and overall institutional growth, were examined to assist in drawing conclusions about the methods used to appropriate capital funds and their impact on public institutions of higher education.
The study examined, described, and analyzed decisions which have influenced capital investment in the state’s public higher education system. A history of the state’s higher education governing system and the two case institutions, a description of the factors behind policy-making decisions, and descriptions of the elements of the capital appropriations process in the state are included with examples of how capital appropriations have contributed to the overall institutional growth. Qualitative data relative to capital appropriations came from interviews with key individuals and from document analysis of system and institutional records related to capital appropriations.
The results concluded that the capital request policies at the onset of the study were more subjective in nature and appropriations were made to the institutions in an inequitable manner; decisions were easily affected by the internal and external politics of the state university system and state government. The capital allocation process evolved and was architecturally shifted to become more data-driven so that decision making is more objective and in line with the system and institution master plans. The growth of the case institutions was not solely caused by capital appropriations; but in many cases, capital outlay allowed the institutions to sustain enrollment growth. Additional factors, besides capital appropriations such as institutional leadership, school choice variables, and state policy issues which influenced and contributed to the differences in overall growth at the two case institutions were included in the results.
In practice, policies are strengthened to emphasize the planning process and adherence to a master plan and capital improvement plan. The study revealed inequitable and sometimes haphazard methods by which capital outlay decisions have been made in the state; this study supported the recently adopted, data-driven strategic capital model. Realizing that the state cannot provide all funding, it was recommended higher education institutions pursue and expand public/private partnerships to secure capital funding, and increase institutional collaboration during this process. Facilities and capital investment constituted just one component which allowed an institution to flourish; but in many cases, institutions had the capacity which could be readily seen by the establishment of an efficiency model of its current space before constructing new facilities.
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