Viewing Recent US Governance Reform Whole: “Decentralization” in a Distinctive Context
By international comparison, higher education in the US appears at the lower extreme in any continuum of centralized control and coordination. Perhaps fueled historically by individualist emphases and a nationwide distrust of authority, the country has never established an empowered national education ministry. Only a few, largely military, institutions secure ongoing operating support from the federal government, and over half of all institutions are private, and thus independent of any public governance. And even in public institutions funded by the fifty individual US states, governance at many colleges and universities takes place via lay boards at some remove from full-time officials of state bureaus.