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Higher Education: Personnel Management and Budget Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 25th, 2021

Module 4: Case

There are many ways and forms for managing people in the field of higher education. According to Hall (2003), although the process of recruitment and choosing the right people and processes is costly and time-consuming, the consequences to avoid poor appointment cannot be neglected. Collective bargaining agreement is one of the forms to achieve the desired portion of control and order. It is defined as a possibility to allocate working conditions during employees’ unionization (Cloutier, Denis, & Bilodeau, 2012).

Leaders are responsible for making final decisions about collective bargaining as this practice has a direct impact on such processes as hiring, layoff, budget limitations, performance assessment, and personnel disputes. In this project, the impact of a collective bargaining agreement on performance evaluation will be discussed along with the analysis of the role of a leader in personnel management.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Essence

The worth of collective bargaining agreements in higher education is the encouragement of open dialogues between teachers and their administrators or leaders. Its evolution after the period of the World War I is thoroughly described by Hogler (2004) who admitted that employers who faced new obligations in labor relationships and human rights could not impose their demands without discussing them in public.

Collective bargaining is determined by the presence of units of people who can vote and express their opinions about different aspects of their work. It is expected that employees share a common intention to be grouped together and organize legal disputes concerning working conditions and organizational concerns (Saltzman, 2001). The essence of collective bargaining is the promotion of equal professional relationships where people from different organizational units can legally negotiate a variety of issues, including their salaries, terms, and employment conditions. Good faith in achieving a collective agreement and cooperation determine working relationships, the quality of education, and various academic processes.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Example

Regarding the fact that it is not impossible to find out an example of a collective bargaining agreement in the site where current practice and work occur, the decision to use an agreement from another university is made. This example helps recognize the main aspects of the chosen type of document and understand its role in higher education administration. The agreement between American University and Service Employees International Union, Local 50, CtW (2017) aims at discussing all management functions and rights of the parties (the University and the Union).

In addition to the identification of duties, it contains the description of grievance procedure when Management violates an express provision, the importance of non-discrimination actions, the evaluation of discipline, assignments, and performance, and the conditions under which compensation, privileges, and strike rights can occur. This agreement helps achieve effective involvement in decision-making processes, obtain clear definitions and circumstances, and strengthen legislative presence. There are no right and wrong positions, but there are the rules and duties that have to be performed.

Impact of Collective Bargaining Agreement on Performance Evaluation

Among a variety of impacts a collective bargaining agreement may have on higher education administration, its focus on performance evaluation plays the most crucial role. In this area, the parties are responsible for improving individual and organizational performance and make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes, organizational assessments may be defined as subjective or at least not objective enough. The needs of employees, students, or leaders can be overestimated or poorly defined. As a result, discontent, decreased employee satisfaction, and the lack of collaboration may be observed, influence the quality of services that have to be offered.

According to the given example of a collective bargaining agreement, evaluation’s focus is to “support excellence in teaching, to further academic and professional standards, and to provide for professional development” (“Agreement between American University and service employees,” 2017, p. 11). There are special criteria for evaluation, including course design, curricular activities, content, and student engagement. These metrics help create one common system according to which the work of the academic staff has to be analyzed. The agreement underlines that there are no additional ways to improve evaluation or may identify the possibility of new conditions.

Consequences of not Following a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Educational leaders must follow the way of how all the parties follow collective bargaining agreements they sign. This document defines the obligations of all members regarding the existing laws and regulations (Saltzman, 2001). During the last several decades, several attempts were made to limit the power of collective bargaining in higher education and reclassifying the rights of members as management-level employees (Evans & Chun, 2012). It means that some organs of power could have specific authority, and some members could not achieve the desired goals because of the absence of their rights being properly identified. The consequences are the development of new concerns, discontent, strikes, and poor quality of work.

However, in most cases, including the example chosen for this paper, the obligations of the parties include the necessity to follow each section of the agreement, define its duration force, and make sure that law is not violated. In case of law violation, the parties should meet in good faith and negotiate new substitute conditions. There are also the cases when the developers of these agreements define the punishment and the price of violation. Bargaining unions cannot break the old rules or establish new rules without the presence of all signed parties and the discussion of the conditions when some changes take place.

Role of a Leader in Collective Bargaining Agreement Understanding

To assist educational leaders in understanding the essence of collective bargaining agreements, various credible resources can be offered. For example, the agreements of other work sites can help identify the sections for discussion and the responsibilities of the parties. The evaluation of official websites with clear information about academic goals, missions, and core principles is possible. Finally, communication with HR managers, administrators, and teachers is required to gather personal opinions and feedback about the work done.

A strong educational leader must demonstrate effective decision-making skills in personnel management, and the information defined in a collective bargaining agreement is the first step to succeed. This source defines the needs and expectations of teachers, as well as administers and leaders, and this information is priceless in final decision-making.

Conclusion

In general, collective bargaining agreements play a crucial role in managing people in a higher education field. Its strength is the possibility to control the decisions and actions of leaders and ordinary employees. Equality, respect, and collaboration are promoted through the lines of these agreements making people believe in the power of the existing American education system and opportunities that are available at different levels of higher education administration.

Module 4: Discussion Question

During my current experience with higher education personnel management, as an educational leader, I have to learn the basic steps in the establishment of trustful and, what is more important, equal relationships between all the workers at the site. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the majority of educators and administrators were ready to cooperate and discuss all urgent points. Sometime, they might need additional motivation and explanations of why a certain decision was made. However, in general, all of them were open to new ideas and improvements in their practice. There was no need to establish new practices and tasks.

The goal was to introduce a strategy and give enough reasons to accept it. Open communication, regular meetings, and clearly defined objectives and outcomes are the core principles in personnel management that cannot be neglected.

This kind of work turns out to be an important lesson for educational leaders in order to understand personnel management and the role of collective bargaining agreements. There are many universities and colleges that find it obligatory to sign these agreements as a chance to identify the roles of all employees and leaders. I learned that it is necessary not to neglect this process and discuss all working aspects during common bargaining meetings.

When people are gathered together, they are able to recognize new ways for improvement and share their opinions about the most appropriate steps in regards to available resources and conditions. It is not enough to make educational employees to sign agreements as a part of their job but to promote its development through a thorough evaluation of their demands, needs, and expectations, including wages, employment conditions, and responsibilities.

References

Agreement between American University and service employees international union, Local 500, CtW. (2017). Web.

Cloutier, J., Denis, P., & Bilodeau, H. (2012). Collective bargaining and perceived fairness: Validating the conceptual structure. Relations Industrielles, 67(3), 398-425.

Evans, A., & Chun, E. (2012). Special issue: Creating a tipping point: Strategic human resources in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 38(1), 1-143.

Hall, A. (2003). Managing people. Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

Hogler, R. L. (2004). Employment relations in the United States: Law, Policy, and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Saltzman, G. M. (2001). Higher education collective bargaining and the law. Web.

Module 5: Case

In today’s system of education, an understanding of public policy decisions and funding efforts play an important role in every state. Although there is a statement that almost all university conversations are based on the necessity to clarify the content of a program, research peculiarities, curriculums, no one should neglect the existing subtext about money and budget (Lombardi, 2013). Due to recent shifts in management, legislation, and societal understanding, special attention is paid to state and local revenues, which aim at supporting higher education performance.

Therefore, current higher education leaders have to recognize and compare such factors as educational appropriations, full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE), and funding efforts, be prepared for budget constraints, and make effective decisions in administrative and leadership affairs. Budget and finance support has an impact on everyday decisions of higher education administrators because this field is able to generate its revenues, control tuition fees, and operational costs over time; thus, the institutional operating budget can become a helpful management tool that promotes the progress of institutional goals.

Educational Appropriations and Funding Efforts for Higher Education

Many people are concerned about the increased prices on higher education and the worth of its affordability for all citizens of the United States. It is hard for a family to afford spending about $30,000 per year for one child’s education without relying on their retirement savings and going into debt (Mumper, 2001). At the same time, college and university administrators cannot stop establishing new prices to cover their costs and provide the required services and knowledge.

It is expected to discuss the problem of public higher education affordability in the context of educational appropriations and government funding. According to the annual report of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (2017), educational appropriations are defined as a “part of state and local support available for public higher education operating expenses” (p. 9). To introduce fair and adequate judgments, it is expected to exclude costs on research and a list of specific programs and education courses in order to improve a comparability factor. FTE is a measurement of enrollment equality that is used to compare changes in the country and analyze revenue.

Compared to the national average of US public higher educational appropriations per FTE that was changed by 17.1% in the period 2012-2017, Colorado reached more than 30% change: $3,209 million in 2012 and $4,194 million in 2017 (with about $7,000 as an expected US average) (State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, 2017). Despite the increased appropriations for educational purposes, the state and local government higher education funding effort in Colorado is only $168 per capita compared to $289 per capita generally in the United States.

State funding effort has to be evaluated as it is useful in calculating state spending and comparing the results between states. State population, personal incomes, and tax revenues determine the results of this analysis. Therefore, it is necessary to reevaluate available financial resources and administrative efforts and achieve certain improvements in academic activities. Decreases in tuition and fee revenue can be made with total funding being increased.

Higher education can deliver its benefits when fiscal resources are properly chosen. Williams (2012) found that American students already used to pay high tuition fees, but they demand accessible information to make sure all their expenses and payments are reasonable. To be successful, educational appropriations have to be organized in a specific order and correspond with a number of legislative issues.

Decisions in Higher Education Administration

Appropriations-connected decisions may be affected by a variety of factors, including the demands of state budget like transportation of students or healthcare services. Higher education administrators should be ready to evaluate all options and check every student. At this moment, there is no common standard on how to organize the process of making public policy decisions with respect to available funding efforts in higher education. Administrators must research and communicate to compare information and indicators from different states and discover new efforts for college and university students.

These results influence a number of organizational and administrative decisions and activities. For example, it is possible to change the conditions of higher education by restructuring academic portfolios and purposes (Milkovich, 2015). When an overall economic situation in the country and the state is good, higher education succeeds in state budgets and offers multiple alternatives to students and their families. When bad times reach the economy of the country, educational appropriations work poorly compared to other local budget items. In total, funding and appropriations influence decision-making regarding the extent to which it is possible to maximize the ability of revenue generation.

Students, Net Tuition, and Operating Costs

Changes in educational appropriations and net tuition determine student costs. According to the State Higher Education Executive Officers (2018), student share is net tuition revenue of public higher education in regards to total education revenue in the country. Colorado showed 59.5% in 2010 and 69.9% in 2017 compared to the total US average 40.6% in 2010 and 46.4% in 2017. Net tuition revenue per FTE in Colorado in 2017 is $3,134.

These changes lead to an increase in student costs and continue influencing only students from low-income families. Administrators conclude that all students should participate in the discussion about operating costs and academic opportunities. The problem is that students who struggle to earn a living are better aware of financial aids in comparison to students from wealthy families. The task of administrators is to create equal opportunities for those who are in need, in other words, for those who ask for help.

The establishment of useable expectations for institutional goals is a part of a strategic management plan for all college and university stakeholders (Salluzzo, 1999). Regarding such an approach, it is possible to reduce retention and persistence rates and increase graduation rates because students will be eager to study and save their money and be interested in developing their research and academic skills.

Conclusion

In general, budget and finance support impact everyday decisions of higher education administrators on how to cooperate with students and motivate them in a variety of ways. When young people are bothered by the necessity to solve their financial issues and search for a new funding source, they put their education and skills under threat of being poorly developed. As an educational leader, I have to identify all budget constraints before an academic year and inform students about all peculiarities and limitations in order not to distract them from working processes. Administrators should look for new funding bodies and continue discussing new efforts with the government because education is a ticket for a person to a safer future that has to be built by illiterate people. This connection cannot be ignored in higher education decision-making.

References

Lombardi, J. V. (2013). How universities work. Baltimore, MA: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Milkovich, A. (2015). Organizational portfolio management and institutions of higher education. Planning for Higher Education, 43(2), 24-32.

Mumper, M. (2001). State efforts to keep public colleges affordable in the face of fiscal stress. In M. B. Paulsen & J. C. Smart (Eds.), The finance of higher education: Theory, research, policy, and practice (pp. 321-349). New York, NY: Agathon Press.

Salluzzo, R. E. (1999). Using the budget as an effective management tool. New Directions for Higher Education, 1999(107), 61-71.

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. (2017). SHEF: FY 2017: State higher education finance. Web.

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. (2018). Wave charts. Web.

Williams, J. (2012). Consuming higher education: Why learning can’t be bought. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Module 6: Discussion Question

In this course, several strong resources are introduced to complete current assignments and improve my understanding of the topic of budget and finance in higher education. On the one hand, it turns out to be hard and time-consuming to work with different sources and identify the issues that can be helpful in decision-making and solution search. On the other hand, it is always interesting and encouraging to discover new information and identify new options for higher education administrators and leaders. I believe that each source is a solid contribution to my professional and personal growth.

Education is the field where financial decisions, including appropriations, tuition fees, and financial aid have a considerable implication for a variety of areas. For example, higher education appropriations may result in clear communication of performance goals and priorities or elimination of social inequality of students. Therefore, it is not enough to stop this type of research on the list of resources given. It is important to use all options and read as much as possible to support life-long learning.

The obligation to complete the chosen educational leadership role is not only a task that has to be organized in a certain order. It is a chance to analyze the existing system of education, cooperate with the academic staff, and investigate new funding opportunities for some students and the facility as a whole. Sometimes, it is hard to meet the already established goals and expectations. My plan is to combine strategic management, financial support, and governing bodies in one common plan in order to deprive students of the necessity to think about tuition fees but concentrate on their skills and knowledge not only at the expense of the academic staff.

Reflection and Integration

During this course, I got a unique opportunity to evaluate different aspects of the work of higher education administration. Although my professional development should not end at this point, these results play an important role in my understanding of an educational role, student participation, and a learning environment. Among the offered variety of organizational elements, I find such aspects as educational leadership in student affairs, accreditation of academic programs, and assessment of students in the learning environment the most useful ones for my professional and personal development in leading learning programs and promoting success among students.

The goal of this course is to explain how the administration can influence student affairs by means of different accreditations, assessments, and standards, and I believe that this type of work cannot be neglected in the system of American higher education.

The first element of the higher education discussion is the attention to educational leadership. It is impossible to create a successful learning program or organization in case there is no good and experienced person to guide all actions and make all necessary decisions. During this course, I enlarged my knowledge about leadership, including the worth of past lessons and historical development.

An educational leader is a person who makes other people not just accept some changes or follow their duties but improve the already established achievements and continue collaboration. Power and control should not be considered as the main qualities of a strong educational leader. Leadership is an ability to ask for help or suggestion, listen, and make common decisions with respect to people and their actions.

The second element includes the importance of standards and rules, thus the promotion of program accreditation. As soon as a leader of an organization or a program is chosen, it is expected to find out a plan of work. In the US higher education system, there are several accreditation bodies that establish specific standards and check if facilities are able to meet them. The attention to this issue helps me recognize a starting point in my careers as an educational leader. Positive organizational culture can be achieved after all standards and requirements are met and approved by an accreditation body. There are many ways of how to encourage the academic staff and focus on student success, and accreditation allows leaders not to run to extremes.

The last element is the assessment of student affairs in the chosen academic environment. If there is an idea that leaders should check the work of the academic staff by means of program accreditation, then the evaluation of student affairs is a priority of the academic staff to underline the results of the work. Student assessment is a chance for students to demonstrate their achievements, underline their strengths, and recognize their weaknesses. Educators, leaders, and administrators observe what they have done in a particular learning environment and clarify what steps should be taken to promote student success. Student assessment influences the promotion of a program, as well as the necessity for a student to continue education in the chosen direction.

In general, I am satisfied with the results of this course and the material I was able to gather. Educational administration deals with a number of difficult tasks and obligations, and people must be prepared for such amount of work. Effective curricular programs, interesting activities for students, motivation for the academic staff, and continuous development can be achieved if leaders succeed in student assessment and academic accreditation.

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