Date of Award

12-2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Education

Major Professor

E. Grady Bogue

Committee Members

Norma Mertz, John Prados, Robert Cunningham

Abstract

This case study was undertaken to provide a description of the Tennessee Performance Funding Policy's impact on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville over the past twenty years. Answers to three research questions were sought:

1. How has the Tennessee Performance Funding Policy impacted the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with regard to (a) awareness of the policy and its purposes and (b) the activities of the institution in relation to the policy?

2. How has educational decision making been affected by the Tennessee Performance Funding Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?

3. Based on professional experience and opinion, are strengths/liabilities and reform suggestions regarding the Tennessee Performance Funding Policy identified by selected University of Tennessee, Knoxville administrative and academic personnel?

The sources of information for this study included available and relevant documentation obtained from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, twenty-eight interviews conducted with selected past and present administrative and academic personnel associated with the institution, and observations of the attitudes and actions relating to the policy or this study when visiting the campus and conducting the interviews

Findings of the study include the rountinization of the university's response to the policy, inconsistent communication of data relating to the policy to colleges and departments, little recent evidence that educational decision making has been affected by the data generated for the policy, and skepticism relating to the validity of the data generated for certain performance funding indicators. Paradoxically, much support was communicated regarding the philosophical foundation of the policy and only one interviewee participating in this study indicated that the policy should be discontinued.

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