Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




In a study published in 1978, Manns and March found that university curricula do change in response to financial adversity. Based on a model proposed by Cohen and March, Manns and March said that it was necessary for departments to stimulate demand for enrollment in order to secure resources. They proposed that competition for resources would encourage competition among departments. Departments most in need of maintaining demand would change most; those least in need of maintaining demand would change least.;Manns and March also noted that academia has traditions about change that could have influenced the process. Thus, there may have been other considerations that contributed to academic's decisions to change. to extend Manns and March's work and to discover what kinds of things had informed decisions to make curriculum changes was the aim of this research.;Through interviews with department, school, and curriculum committee heads at William and Mary, this study sought to discover the reasons these people gave for certain curricular changes they made from 1971-72 to 1980-81. Representatives from three arts and sciences and departments and two professional schools were asked to recall the kinds of things they had considered when changing six different curricular attributes. The six curricular attributes examined were: (1) course numbers; (2) course titles and descriptions; (3) course additions, deletions, modifications; (4) credit requirements for majors; (5) area/sequence designation; (6) courses without prerequisite designation.;This study found that in all five groups studied, student enrollments had been a consideration in the changes made in one curriculum attribute--the addition or substantive modification of courses. For the five other attributes examined, other factors were considered rather than student demand. These other factors consisted variously from one group to the next of such things as change in the discipline, change in texts, change in faculty teaching loads, change in faculty members, change in departmental emphasis, and change in accreditation of certification requirements.;Each group examined viewed the importance of each of the six curriculum attributes differently, varied in the kinds of attention given to students' pursuits, and had group-specific routines and operating procedures.



© The Author