Private higher education policy in Ohio, 1980-2006 : a case study demonstrating the usefulness of Zumeta's public policy posture model Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Bessler, Timothy S.


  • This study describes the case of private higher education in Ohio between 1980 and 2006 using Zumeta's (1996) model of state policy and private higher education. More specifically, this study used case study methodology and multiple sources to demonstrate the usefulness of Zumeta's model and illustrate its limitations. Ohio served as the subject state and data for 67 private, 4-year, degree-granting, Higher Learning Commission-accredited institutions were collected. Data sources for this study included the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Data System as well as database infonnation and documents from various state agencies in Ohio, including the Ohio Board of Regents.

    The findings of this study indicated that the general state context for higher education in Ohio during the study time period was shaped by deteriorating economic factors, stagnating population growth coupled with a rapidly aging society, fluctuating state income and increasing expenditures in areas such as corrections, transportation and social services. However, private higher education experienced consistent enrollment growth, an increase in the number of institutions, widening involvement in state-wide planning for higher education, and greater fiscal support from the state in a variety of fonns such as the Ohio Choice Grant. This study also demonstrated that private higher education in Ohio benefited because of its inclusion in state-wide planning and the state's decision to grant state aid directly to students.

    Taken together, this study supported Zumeta's (1996) classification of Ohio as having a hybrid market-competitive/central-planning policy posture toward private higher education. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that Zumeta' s model is a useful tool for both policy makers and researchers for understanding a state's relationship to its private higher education sector. However, this study also demonstrated that Zumeta's model is less useful when applied over an extended time period. Additionally, this study identifies a further limitation of Zumeta's model resulting from his failure to define "state mandate" and the "level of state mandates" that allows for inconsistent analysis of this component.

publication date

  • March 13, 2009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)