The privatization of higher education: administrator experiences

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

Within the last two decades, public higher education has faced increasing cuts in federal and state financial support (Morphew & Eckel, 2009: Priest & St. John, 2006). In order to make up for these deficits, public universities have increasingly seen changes in their relationship with the states and have steadily adopted a more private model of higher education. Privatization of public higher education involves a shift in relationship, particularly in funding. As institutions drift away from state resources, they must increase their alternative revenue sources. Many institutions seek revenue by recruiting more students and marketing their university in a strategic fashion. While many authors (Newman, Couturier, Scurry, 2004; Kirp, 2003; Bok, 2003; Smith, 2009; Harris, 2009) have published about their belief that American higher education is moving toward a market-orientated system, limited studies have been published which cite reflections by administrators who facilitate these institutional behaviors. Through case study research design, this study sought to explore and understand the strategies one public institution used to cope with major cuts in public funding, how these strategies align with the privatization of public higher education, and what these changes mean for administrators in their roles. Based on the findings and the resulting conclusions, the study describes how higher education administration has shifted to align with a more privatized model and how higher education administrators have experienced this.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Higher education administration, Higher education, Organizational behavior