Essay on Higher Education as an Organization

Essay on Higher Education as an Organization

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Many people believe that a college or university is just like a business. Students pay a fee (tuition) for a service (education). However, there are components than just these things to take into consideration and things are not always as clear and simple as some believe. There are several organizational models from which businesses and schools can operate, but the nature of academic governance is a unique one, and a school cannot always be treated as a traditional business for many reasons.
One of the reasons the comparison between a university and a business is a complex one, and one of much debate, is that the educational world is distinctive unto itself. There are many factors to be considered, and whenever you have the combination of money and people involved, things become more complicated. E. Gordon Gee, the former president of Ohio State University, discussed the uniqueness of the educational arena in an April 29, 2008 interview. In his interview, Dr. Gee said that one of the problems with colleges is that they “all want to be like each other” when they cannot. (Gee, 2008). He said that sameness leads to “mediocrity” but that schools in a state should try to work together in order to create a “systemic approach” (Gee, 2008). In a state, universities are an “economic engine” and that if they work collaboratively, the universities within one state can take on a more active public leadership role (Gee, 2008). Dr. Gee believes that businesses and other organizations should take this approach and that it helps “create relevance” for an organization, especially a university (Gee, 2008). This view of collaboration led to Dr. Gee being appointed by Ohio Governor Kasich to lead a seven member commission tasked with d...


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...lines for a successful presidency. (Paul Fain, Interviewer) [Audio file]. Retrieved from The Chronicle of Higher Education website: http://chronicle.com/article/Audio-Gordon-Gees-Guidelines/63338/
Gee, G. & Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, W.C. (2006). A convergence of corporate and academic governance. Trusteeship, 14(6), 24-27. Retrieved from ERIC, EBSCOhost on November 26, 2013
Lohmann, S. (2004). Can’t the university be more like business?. Economics of Governance, 5(1), 9-27. Doi:10.1007/s10101-003-0067-1.
TEDxTalks. (November 18, 2011). TEDxLondon – Dougald Hine. Retrieved November 21, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqVrlUKltII
Winston, G. C. (1997, Sep). Why can't a college be more like a firm? Change, 29, 32-38.
Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/208057952? accountid=28180

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