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In Transition: Adult Higher Education Governance in Private Institutions: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 159

ISBN: 978-1-118-47749-6
100 pages
October 2012, Jossey-Bass
In Transition: Adult Higher Education Governance in Private Institutions: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 159 (1118477499) cover image

Take a candid look into how some traditional liberal arts colleges have incorporated nontraditional adult degree programs. This volume of case studies shows how a number of small, independent universities addressed various administrative and service functions for their adult programs. When taken together, it captures the emulsive nature of this imperfect blend as well as the fluidity of solutions.

This issue covers:

  • The dynamics that an adult program can bring to an institution
  • Colleges that combine the adult program within university-wide, centralized processes
  • Colleges that have mostly autonomous programs
  • Institutions that developed a hybrid model
  • The current status of incorporating nontraditional programs into traditional colleges and universities.

This is the 159th volume of this Jossey-Bass series. Addressed to higher education decision makers on all kinds of campuses, New Directions for Higher Education provides timely information and authoritative advice about major issues and administrative problems confronting every institution.

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Editors’ Notes 1
J. Richard Ellis, Stephen D. Holtrop

1. The Win-Win of Adult Degree Programs 5
J. Richard Ellis

Adult degree programs often struggle to find the right administrative structure. Some are very connected to centralized campus administration and services. Others are much more autonomous.

2. Mission Intentionality and Operational Integrity: The Essential Role of Faculty in Adult Degree Programs 15
Anthony L. Blair

Some programs with previously decentralized administrative structures have moved back to a more centralized structure with unintended but positive results.

3. Relevant Adult Programs, Resilient Students, and Retention-Driven Administration 21
Esther Beth Sullivan, Rosanne V. Pagano

Unique geographical and cultural challenges can produce a very decentralized structure for adult programs. But funding issues can force a sudden change toward centralization.

4. One Body, Many Parts: An Adult Program Profile 31
Teresa Bagamery Clark

Small adult programs with small staffs necessarily depend heavily on centralized campus services. Cooperation from the centralized offices is crucial.

5. Academic Autonomy for Adult Degree Programs: Independence with Integration 37
Judson Curry

Cultural and social capital help more established adult programs to operate with autonomy in many areas. Despite this widespread autonomy and decentralization, however, some functions still remain centralized.

6. The Impact of Adult Degree Programs on the Private College or University 45
Pamela A. Giles

A college or university changes when adult programs are added and needs to remain constantly flexible in structure to accommodate rapidly changing adult program developments. However, even with large, decentralized adult programs, campuses should remain true to the institutional strengths developed over decades with the traditional academic program.

7. Practicing What We Teach: Learning from Experience to Improve Adult Program Administration 55
Lori K. Jass

Larger adult programs are not necessarily entirely decentralized. Each institution needs to find the balance of centralized and decentralized administrative functions. A hybrid structure can provide both autonomy and centralized efficiency and consistency.

8. Starting from Scratch: The Evolution of One University’s Administrative Structure for Adult Programs 65
Carol G. Williams

Outsourcing some adult program services provides another hybrid approach that allows a college or university to focus on important functions such as high-quality teaching and curriculum design.

9. Hybrid Governance in an Adult Program: A Nuanced Relationship 73
Suzanne Cockley

Mutual appreciation and collaboration are the keys to finding an institutional balance of centralized services and autonomous functions. This is especially true for small, specialized adult programs.

10. Conclusion: Unique Adult Degree Programs with Unique Relationships to the Main Campus 83
Stephen D. Holtrop

Institutions have unique internal structures and distinctive histories. Adult programs may move toward greater autonomy as they grow in size, but not all programs follow this trajectory. Each institution finds its own balance of centralized and decentralized administrative functions. However, a few specific functions do seem to remain centralized for most institutions, and a few functions are more likely to be decentralized.

INDEX 91

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