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1 Understanding State Higher Education Politics: The Case of Tuition Policy Tara R. Warne University of Missouri Institutional Research & Planning

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Presentation on theme: "1 Understanding State Higher Education Politics: The Case of Tuition Policy Tara R. Warne University of Missouri Institutional Research & Planning"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Understanding State Higher Education Politics: The Case of Tuition Policy Tara R. Warne University of Missouri Institutional Research & Planning warnetr@umsystem.edu

2 2 Purpose □Describe the context surrounding state level tuition policy making □Describe trends in tuition policy across the states since 2000 □Explore the causes of state level tuition policy change

3 3 Overview □General higher education context □Why study tuition policy □Components of tuition policy □Trends in tuition and tuition policy □Theoretical Framework and Methods □A closer look—Florida and Texas □Questions & Comments

4 4 Higher Education Context □At a dangerous juncture in state/public relationships □Accountability, academic freedom □The academic ratchet □Decline in state appropriations □Direct approp: 54% of revenue to 31.9% of revenue between 1997-2001 □Tuition and fees: 12.9 % of revenue to 18.1%

5 5 Prior Research □Emphasizes state support in terms of tax effort □Or, affordability and accessibility □Little work on policy making processes

6 6 Table 1: Relative Shares of Educational Expenditures Between Families, Taxpayers, and Philanthropy FY 1970 to FY 1996

7 7 Why tuition policy? □Untapped area of research □As tuition becomes a primary funding source we need to more about the rules of the “tuition game” □Policy fragmentation □Difference in language of policy analysts and political science

8 8 Components of Tuition Policy □Structural aspects □Mission-based □Tuition philosophy □Distributed authority □Indexing to external indicators □Cost differentials

9 9 Components Cont.’ □Tuition budgetary policy—policy responses to increasing tuition □Tuition policy—policies establishing actual rates or conditions under which they will be set

10 10 Types of Tuition Policies □Exemptions □Residency □Miscellaneous □Authority

11 11 Table 2: State Tuition Policy Activity 2000 to 2006

12 12 Table 3: States Changing Policy

13 13 Table 4: Philosophy and Tuition Policy

14 14 Tables 5 & 6: Tuition Philosophy, Tuition Rates, Tuition Change

15 15 Tables 7 & 8: State Tax Effort and Tuition Philosophy

16 16 Institutional Analysis & Development Framework □Definition: rules, norms of behavior, strategies, and their enforcement mechanisms pattern human interaction (North, 1990; Ostrom, 1999; Dill, 2003) □Three tiers of decision making: constitutional, collective choice, operational □Action arenas include action situations and actors

17 17 IAD (cont.) □Relevant variables: set of participants, their socio-political position, outcomes of actions, level of participant control, available information, costs/benefits assigned to potential outcomes □Actors are intendedly rational, but are fallible learners

18 18 IAD and Tuition Policy □College prices can be considered a collective action problem characterized by the following information asymmetries □Students/families lack information about quality and net price □Policy makers lack information about quality and cost □Institutions lack information about quality, cost, and policy maker preferences

19 19 Methods □This study examines the collective choice tier of decision making—how are tuition policies addressing tuition setting authority made? □Case Study Approach (Yin, 2003) □Pilot case selection: states were selected on the basis of having very active tuition politics □States: Florida and Texas □Data includes materials from state legislature, Governors’ offices, news reports, state agencies, institutions, and interest groups

20 20 Florida Demographics □Population (2004): 17,019,068 □10 public 4-year institutions enrolling 199,535 students □Average 2004 tuition for 4-year publics $2553 □Tuition increased 33.6% from 2000 to 2004 □Political Climate: Conservative □Activist legislature □Proportion of state expenditures going to H.E. declined from 9.5% to 8.4% between 2000 and 2004

21 21 Florida Tuition Policy □2005: Tension among universities, Board of Governors, and legislature over tuition authority □2002: constitutional amendment gave newly formed BoG sole tuition authority, which they ceded to the legislature in 2003 □HB 1001gave the legislature control over tuition (signed) □SB 2264 allows Boards of Trustees greater latitude in setting tuition and fees (vetoed) □HB 7087 Gives the legislature tuition authority for undergraduates

22 22 Florida Tuition Policy Cont.’ □Great deal of legislative and voter activity around the issue of university governance since 2000 □Perception of pork barrel politics driving H.E. policy □Council of 100 (business leaders) support higher tuition □Weak Board of Governors-began to assert itself in 2004 □Educators and attorneys filed suit against Governor and legislator to block increased leglislative control

23 23 Texas Demographics □Population (2004): 22,118,509 □42 public 4-year institutions enrolling 353,826 students □Average 2004 tuition for 4-year publics $3596 □Tuition increased 58% from 2000 to 2004 □Political Climate: Conservative □Moderate legislature □Proportion of state expenditures going to H.E. increased from 13.6% to 15% between 2000 and 2004

24 24 Texas Tuition Policy □2003: HB 3015 Decentralized tuition authority to university boards ( in response to state budget crisis) □2004: tuition increased prompt lawmakers to order an audit at UT and TAMU □2005: dispute between UT and state auditor over calculation of financial need (UT prioritizes lower income students) □2005/2006: state-wide discussions about flat-rate tuition

25 25 Texas Tuition Policy Cont.’ □Deregulation supported by UT and TAMU and business leaders □Less support from smaller institutions □UT Watch organized strong resistance to tuition increases □Disputes budget crisis rationale □Regent positions are seen as patronage appointments □Business leaders advocate corporate approach to running university finances

26 26 Discussion □Declining state budgets are not the only reason for tuition increases, institutional politics is also important. □IAD is a promising framework—allows for systematic comparison of tuition policy making across states

27 27 Future Research □Part of larger project comparing the explanatory power of three theories of the policy process □50 state regression study of tuition and state expenditures □Case study comparison of tuition policy in 4-5 states

28 28 Questions & Comments □Contact Information Tara R. Warne Associate Research Analyst UM Institutional Research & Planning warnetr@umsystem.edu THANK YOU!


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