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Researchers with McBee Ties: Explore State-Level Influences on Educational Funding Decisions

Gandara, Rubin, Hammond, Biillings Research

by Jewel Caruso

Three McBee Institute graduates and a postdoctoral associate combined forces to research funding trends during the pandemic, Paul Rubin (PhD 2017), Meredith Billings (Postdoc Research and Teaching Associate 2017-2019), Lindsey Hammond (PhD 2020), and Denisa Gándara (PhD 2016). 

An article based on this work was recently published in American Behavioral Scientist titled "State Higher Education Funding during COVID-19: Exploring State-Level Characteristics Influencing Finance Decisions."

The goal of their qualitative comparative case study was to "investigate state policymakers' decisions for funding public higher education during the COVID-19 crisis in California and Texas." They explain their selection of these two states by the size of their postsecondary sector, state partnership, and general responses to funding.

The authors used an article written by McBee Institute faculty, "The ecology of state higher-education policymaking in the US" to guide their case study. Jim Hearn and Erik Ness' framework investigated the ecology of state higher education policymaking. This ecology offers four contextual categories: socioeconomic context, organizational and policy context, politico-institutional context, and external context.

Their findings indicate that "policymakers view higher education's ability to generate monies through tuition and fees as a rationale to cut funding when times are tough; however, these cases also suggest that the higher education sector should not be viewed as a monolith in these funding conversations."

You can view the full article in American Behavioral Scientist. 

Type of News/Audience:


PhD, 2017
Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Associate, 2017-2019
PhD, 2020, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (NCSU)

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