Faculty Participation In Governance And Institutional Health At Less Selective Private Liberal Arts Colleges: 1970-1983 (shared Authority, Professionalism)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between faculty participation in governance and institutional health at less selective, private, liberal arts colleges in 1969-70, 1980-81-83 and over the 70s.Design. A national sample of 98 colleges was categorized into healthy, average and precarious in 1969-70 and 1980-81, and into improving, holding steady or declining between 1969-70 and 1980-81. Data on faculty participation collected in 1969-70 and 1983 were analyzed with analyses of variance for differences between the three groups at each of the two points in time and with an analysis of covariance for changes during the 70s. The procedures were repeated to detect differences in faculty participation in personnel, academic and administrative decisions.Findings. No significant relationship was found between faculty participation in college government and institutional health in 1969-70, 1980-81-83, or over the 70s. No significant relationship was found between faculty participation in academic or administrative decisions and institutional health in 1969-70, 1980-81-83, or over the 70s. A significant inverse relationship emerged between faculty participation in personnel decisions and institutional health during the 70s and in 1980-81-83.All sample colleges improved slightly in institutional health over the decade. Faculty participation in all decisions went up. Participation in personnel issues increased the most. In 1970 faculty authority was distributed evenly between Determination, Joint Action, Consultation, Discussion and None. In 1983, a median 54% of issues were decided at the Joint Action- Consultation level.Conclusions and Recommendations. (1) The professional model accurately describes the inner workings of less selective liberal arts colleges. (2) The college organization possesses the decision-making mechanisms to maintain the balance between professional and administrative authority. (3) Principles of shared authority with clear-cut zones of responsibility for the administration and the faculty no longer describe the circumstances of the 70s and the 80s.Recommendations were presented for faculty, administrators, and future researchers.


Education, Higher

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