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Tandberg, David A.The Conditioning Role of State Higher Education Governance Structures. Journal of Higher Education, 2013, 84 (July-August) pp. 506-539.

In a study of the role of consolidated governing boards and their effect of state budgeting for higher education, state-level data from all 50 states, from 1976 to 2004, were obtained for state appropriations to higher education per $1,000 of personal income, whether the state had a consolidated governing board for higher education, the budgetary influence of the governors and legislators, and the presence of higher education interest groups in the state. Consolidated governing boards possess direct control over the academic and fiscal affairs of campuses, as opposed to the relatively weak planning agencies and coordinating boards that merely review campus policies and make recommendations. Regression analysis revealed that the consolidated boards buffered the impact of state higher education interest groups and magnified the influence of the governor and legislature. In other words, the consolidated boards not only buffered politicians from the influence of higher education lobby groups but they also enhanced the influence of politicians over higher education policy. State appropriations to higher education were lower in the states with a consolidated governing board. When a politician hears from a central governing board official rather than a representative of an educational institution in the politician's home district, the politician probably feels less pressure to support the appropriations request. (81 ref)—Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Florida State University.