Thumbnail Image

Study of the transition of a consortia institution to a branch campus

Johnson, Susan G.
Scope and Method of Study: This study used a qualitative, case study methodology. The purpose was to identify key factors in the transition of the University Center at Tulsa to Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
Findings and Conclusions: An inductive analysis approach to the data collected assisted with the explanation of the evolution of the consortia institution to a single university branch campus. Many studies explored the administrative for consortia and multi-campus systems (Bird, 2007; Burke, 1994; deGive, 1996; Dengerink, 2001). Branch campus faculty and the relationship between the branch campus and the main campus were explored by Nickerson and Schaefer (2001). Consortia arrangements were popular because funding for higher education was decreasing (Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport, 1999) but consortia have begun to transition to other entities. The scholarship does not address the evolution of these entities to branch campuses or to a single university delivery site. The results of the study identified two organizational theories that were important to the transition: political and power theories. The consortium was established through legislative action. Politics continued to affect the organization vis-a-vis members of the Tulsa community and institutions participating in the consortium. Power, as suggested by many researchers, is always present when politics are in use and this was evidenced throughout the lifespan of the University Center at Tulsa.