Governance of Public University Systems: Stresses and Needs by C. Judson King. CSHE 16.12.
Abstract: Modes of board-level governance for public universities and especially public university systems should be re-examined in view of growing major forces that create both challenges and opportunities that are enormous for public higher education. To sustain the public mission and rise to the challenges and opportunities, there is a growing need to enhance funding from a variety of different sources, many of them private, and to map them onto new initiatives, partnerships, and directions of change. Boards of public universities need to develop new dimensions, including several of the characteristics of private-university boards that have been honed over many years. Promising alternatives to consider, alone or in combination, are public boards with mixed public-private membership, delegation of some responsibilities of university-system boards to subsidiary boards for individual campuses, more serious consideration of outsourcing components of public higher education to private universities, and possibly in some cases even conversion of public universities or components of them to private status. Several of the important considerations associated with the establishment of individual campus boards under a main system board are explored in more depth.

As the Morrill Act of 1862 has reached its sesquicentennial year, public universities in the United States are in a time of intense financial stress, large opportunities relating primarily to advances in technology, and consequently difficult but necessary change. The most visible and immediate of these changes comes from diminishing support from state governments, which in the United States are the bodies to which the public universities belong. But there are other major forces as well. Patterns of immigration, historical disadvantage, and diversification create needs to do a still better job of providing higher education to all peoples, so as to provide a vital route for upward mobility and to enable the best and the brightest from all areas of society to accomplish what they are inherently capable of doing. That has been the primary mission of the public university systems. High-speed and broadband communications provide ease of collaboration and partnership across borders and in real time. Because of broadband communication and for other reasons, there has been an immense movement toward in what is loosely called globalization, which has been most notable in the world of business. The forces of globalization have also struck universities and will do so all the more as time goes on. There is also a large potential for internet-based instruction, which is a complex arena that is being explored by nearly all universities and many persons within them in a wide variety of ways. Donwload Board Governance of Public University Systems.