Alfred & Carter (2000). Contradictory Colleges.

Alfred, R., & Carter, P. (2000). Contradictory Colleges: Thriving in an Era of Continuous Change. New Expeditions: Charting the Second Century of Community Colleges. Issues Paper No. 6.

“… a comprehensive institution with many offerings was a natural, though inefficient, organizational form.”

“… students with changing needs and expectations, new competitors, technology, and the drive for performance and accountability.”

“Demographic data point to a rising demand for postsecondary education …”

“… performance documentation …”

“… it limits the terrain for interpretation of institutional performance to subjective criteria based on limited experience.”

“… graduation rate, time to degree, retention, transfer rate …”

Listing constituents:

“Customers,” “adult students,” “employers,” “baccalaureate institutions,” “government agencies,” “community organizations.”

“There are basics that must always remain the same.”

“… new organizational models …”

“… new approaches to measuring performance …”

“… carefully balancing continuity and change.”

“… fundamental tensions …”

“… where and with whom to collaborate …”

“… organizational change …”

“… realistic goals for change through a careful analysis of institutional capacity including mission, culture, and resources.”

“… focus on learning …”

“Access has always been, and should always be, a pillar in fulfilling our mission.”

What must stay

  • Focus on learning
    • “Learning is at the center of our colleges”
    • “capacity to respond to multiple learner needs”
  • Access
    • Affordability
    • Adaptability
    • Flexibility
    • Diversity
  • Unshakable core values
    • student-centered
    • comprehensive
    • focus on quality
  • Community based
    • connections
    • partnerships
    • collaborations
    • workforce, economic development

What must go

  • Unresponsive systems and processes
  • structures that bind
  • inadequate performance systems

“… continuous audit of programs, services, staff, and delivery systems …”

“Its priority is on managing the present and ensuring that the future is consistent with the present — it is committed to operational change.”

“Its focus is on improving what presently exists by benchmarking and planning for a future that is an extension of, but not a radical departure from, the present — it is a division committed to linear change.”

“This division’s focus is on creating a future that will be different — it is committed to frame-breaking change.”

“… the central core (general administration) in a contradictory organization becomes smaller …”

Any consideration for unionized employees? Loyalty? Institutional memory? Quality assurance? [oki]

“… folded them into one entity comprising entrepreneurial units (e-units). E-units can be a program area (e.g., nursing) or a combinations or programs (e.g., computer-related technologies).”

“… meaningless in the absence of information about the value they create.”

Mention of purchasers and influencers.

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