Staff perceptions of community college governance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q811kn27s

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  • Research into community college governance has in the past centered on the formal aspects of decision-making of these institutions. These past studies often ignore the informal governance practices and policies that operate within all organizations. Staff perceptions of community college governance have not been studied and possible disjunction between formal and informal decision-making ignored. This research explored the possible differences between what a community college says it does regarding governance, and what its staff perceives it really does. Two study sites, both public community colleges, were chosen. One community college was from California and the other from Oregon, the choice of two different states to ascertain possible influence of state laws. The qualitative nature of this research prompted the selection of college staff who could provide rich data on governance issues relating to the hiring of contracted faculty, general fund allocation, and educational program development. Study site documents where analyzed, providing information of the formal governance practices. Informants from the two study sites included administrators and contracted faculty with knowledge of these three college decisions. The informants and documents from the Oregon Study Site described a set of more collaborative governance practices than the California Study Site. The California Study Site, in a state that mandates shared-governance, had informant responses that were less satisfied with governance than the Oregon Study Site informants. Informants from both study sites related "over-all satisfaction" with the way shared-governance was practiced at their college, with some minor concerns related in the interviews. Shared-governance was encouraged at the Oregon Study Site within a framework of a collaborative and inclusive decision-making structure. Faculty informants from both sites described concerns about their lack of voice in general fund allocation.
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