A case study of institutional management in response to the economic crisis
MetadataShow full item record
Many public institutions in the United States have moved to decentralized models to manage their budget and general operations. This has come as a reaction to both reduced state support and increased market opportunities. Due to the recent economic recession, however, it is hypothesized that such a reaction by institutions may have slowed or reversed because of declining market resources. This study sought to examine the specifics of this trend toward decentralized models during the economic recession through investigating budgetary and operational responses of a public institution to the financial distress. A single, case institution was selected based on its mixed feature of decentralization and centralization. By interviewing 26 deans, school chairs, vice-presidents, and budget officers of all levels from this public research university, the researcher investigated strategies the various entities of the institution chose to cope with financial crisis. This study also explored emerging trends in campus management through the choice of strategies during the economic recession. Supplemented by documentary data, the interview data provided strong evidence of centralization at the institutional level in some administrative areas. The study found that in addition to contingent cutting methods, the university adopted strategic approaches that focused on long-term thriving. Overall, the findings suggested that most of its general operation procedures and processes have not been changed by the economic downturn. Some evidence indicated possible trend of decentralization on campus after the recession.