Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine if a statutory higher education consortium possesses the attributes generally associated with effective voluntary higher education consortia. Also, the research attempted to discover if there are other attributes which would contribute to the effectiveness of statutory higher education consortia.;A review of the literature on voluntary consortia revealed that voluntary higher education consortia regarded as effective generally (1) have clear, concise goals; (2) have an open, two-way communication system; (3) are supported by the presidents of the member institutions; (4) engage in incremental planning; (5) have an effective administrator/director; and (6) are perceived as useful by the members.;Using case study methodology, one Virginia Consortium for Continuing Higher Education was examined to determine if the effectiveness attributes of voluntary consortia were present in this statutory higher education consortium and to determine if other attributes might also be essential for statutory consortium effectiveness. Interviews were held with the key people associated with the consortium under study. Consortium documents located at each interview site were examined. The data were evaluated through triangulation techniques.;This statutory consortium did have a clear, concise mission and did have an open, two-way communication system. Presidential support was found to be limited and the consortium's usefulness to its members are restricted to secondary factors. The consortium leadership was viewed as effective although within a more narrow conception of leadership than that generally found in an effective voluntary consortium. Finally, evidence indicated that the consortium had no incremental planning process.;This research suggests that, to encourage the effectiveness of a statutory higher education consortium, the establishing agency should insure that several criteria are satisfied: (1) institutions must want to cooperate, (2) the reasons for cooperation must be clear, (3) incentives for cooperation must be provided, (4) all members must share equitably in the cooperative endeavor, (5) communication must be open and two-way, (6) the member institution presidents must support the consortium, (7) a planning process must be put in place, (8) the consortium administrator must be an effective leader, and (9) the external population the consortium plans to serve must be encouraged to use the consortium's services.



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