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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The governance of three, post-secondary, two-year colleges in British Columbia, Canada Gray, Robert William


This study describes, and analyses the activities of the lay governing boards of three, recently established, two-year, post-secondary colleges in British Columbia, Canada. Such descriptions and analyses will prove useful to persons interested in the continuing development of two-year colleges in the Province, and may also serve to throw some additional light on the activities of, and problems faced by, lay governing boards In a wide range of organization types. The descriptions of governing board activities were guided by the work of Strauss et al. (1963) in which he suggested that an organization, at a given point in time, be viewed as a combination of a formal order and negotiated order or working arrangements. Defined in terms of written rules and/or legislation, the formal order of the three boards was determined by inspection of relevant legislation and regulations. Working arrangements were defined in terms of a decision making process (after Rubenstein and Haberstroh, 1966), having as its content certain organization problems. The nature of these problems was suggested by the work of Talcott Parsons (1960,1963,1968,1969), and R.J.Hills (1972). The working arrangements of the three boards were determined through interviews with persons closely associated with the boards. It was found that the majority of governing board decisions had to do with the procurement of resources for, and in the determination, of the kinds of services to be offered by, the college. While final approval for decisions in a number of substantive areas was found to be the responsibility of a Government Department, the decision making activities of the boards usually consisted of the consideration, and approval of recommendations brought to-the boards by the administrations of the colleges. A number of possible areas of change in the activities of the governing boards were identified, along with a number of problems. It appeared that most, of the problems had arisen as a result of the newness of the governing boards and as a result of some confusion over their role in the two-year colleges. The study concludes with a number of recommendations for change.

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