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Fixing the Fragmented University : Decentralization With Direction

Joseph C. Burke (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-933371-15-3
450 pages
December 2006, Jossey-Bass
Fixing the Fragmented University : Decentralization With Direction (1933371153) cover image


A fatal flaw in accountability programs is the fragmented university that leaves academic departments—the units most responsible for institutional results—out of the performance loop. Currently, decentralization fosters a disabling disconnect among societal concerns, institutional goals, and departmental aims, the three links of public accountability. How then can the culture of many research universities be transformed from provider-driven prestige to public-centered engagement? The answer is not to end decentralization but to add direction.

Fixing the Fragmented University brings together a group of national experts in a discussion of different methods for fixing the fragmented university and changing campus culture. The book shows how the practice of strategic planning, priority budgeting, assessment and quality assurance, regional accreditation, and departmental performance reporting can enable large research universities to set priorities and pursue direction – all while preserving the decentralization that drive internal creativity and innovation.

Written for administrators, trustees, faculty leaders, and students in higher education, this book describes an effective research university as one focused on serving public needs rather than courting peer prestige. It brings together a group of national experts who present responses, from their disciplines, toward fixing the fragmented university and assisting it in becoming as devoted to undergraduate education and public engagement as it is to faculty research.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.



1 "The Fragmented University" (Joseph C. Burke).

Part I: The Participants.

2 Governing Boards of Public Research Universities as Conflicted Necessities (Richard T. Ingram).

3 Fixing the Fragmented University: A View From the Bridge (James J. Duderstadt).

4 Recreating the Faculty Role in University Governance (Roger Benjamin).

Part II: Means and Methods of Cohesion.

5 Strategic Direction and Decentralization in Public Research Universities (Daniel James Rowley, Herbert Sherman).

6 Using the Budget to Fight Fragmentation and Improve Quality (William F. Massy).

7 Assessing Institutional Effectiveness and Connecting the Pieces of a Fragmented University (J. Fredericks Volkwein).

8 Accrediting the Public University: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? (Ralph A. Wolff).

9 Performance Reporting: Putting Academic Departments in the Performance Loop (Joseph C. Burke).

Part III: Redesigning the Mission.

10 Making Students Matter (George D. Kuh).

11 Making a "Great 'Engaged' University" Requires Rhetoric (Richard A. Cherwitz, E. Johanna Hartelius).

Part IV: Making It Happen on Campus.

12 Transforming the University of Minnesota Through Strategic Positioning (Robert H. Bruininks).

13 A Targeted Path Toward Academic Excellence at The Ohio State University (Karen A. Holbrook).

14 Florida International University: A Top Urban Public Research University (Mayra E. Beers, Paul D. Gallagher, Modesto A. Maidique).


15 The Kellogg Commission: Glancing Back, Looking Forward (C. Peter Magrath).

16 Returning to Their Roots: Putting Unity, Students, and Public Back Into State Universities (Joseph C. Burke).


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Author Information

Joseph C. Burke is director of the Higher Education Program and a Senior Fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, and professor of higher education policy and management at the State University of New York. After receiving his Ph.D. in history from Indiana University, Dr. Burke taught for 12 years. He served as president of the Sate University of New York at Pittsburgh for 12 years, followed by 9 years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affair and 1 year as interim chancellor of the State University of New York System. While Provost, he also held the post of president of the State University of New York Research Foundation, the Fiscal agent for all research grants and contracts in the SUNY System. Dr. Burke was also a consultant with the Center for Public Higher Education Trusteeship and Governance at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities ad Colleges. In 2005, he served as an advisor to the State Higher Education Executive Officers National Commission on Accountability.
Dr. Burke has consulted, written and lectured on a wide array of topics in higher education, including the role of college and university presidents, system governance, accountability and autonomy in higher education, outcomes assessment, and performance reporting, budgeting, and funding. He has published more than 60 books, monographs, and articles on these subjects. His most recent book, which he edited and coauthored, is Achieving Accountability in Higher Education: Balancing Public, Academic, and Market Demands (2005, Jossey-Bass). The Henry Luce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Ford Foundation have awarded him grants for national studies of the budgeting, reporting, accountability, and performance of public university systems and state colleges and universities. The Ford Foundation supported the preparation of this present book.
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