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Foreword
 
Introduction
 
Part I:
 
    Introduction
 
    Respondents
 
    Chapter One:
    The Experience
    of the Grant
    Recipients
 
    Chapter Two:
    The Insider
    Perspective
 
Part II:
 
    Positioning FIPSE
 
    Breadth
    and Inclusiveness
 
    FIPSE Personnel
 
    Soliciting
    Proposals
 
    Project
    Directors
    Meetings
 
    Project
    Ownership
 
    Change Agents
    and Change
    Networks
 
    Risk Taking
 
    The FIPSE
    Environment
 
    Conclusion
 
About the Authors
 
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
 

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Page 16 of 18

CONCLUSION


As with any complex venture, many factors led to the success of FIPSE in its early years. Inclusiveness, breadth, and responsiveness guided many of FIPSE's actions and processes. Also pivotal were FIPSE's practices of making relatively small grants, of requiring the grantee to accept primary project ownership, and of promoting both formal and informal networks of like-minded leaders. Perhaps the most difficult feature to replicate was the energy of those early years: staff members' sense of mission and high purpose fostered a belief that they could actually act with autonomy within the federal bureaucracy.

Two additional factors should not be overlooked. First, FIPSE emphasized purpose rather than strategy; FIPSE understood that genuine change does not spring from preconceived methods delineated in a timeline. Second, FIPSE recognized that networking and support from outside the institutional setting are essential for bringing legitimacy to innovative projects. Change agents often work alone in a somewhat hostile climate; in many cases they need encouragement beyond financial support. Through a variety of means, FIPSE supplemented the financial with other kinds of support.

The quality of human contact was also a crucial element in FIPSE's success. Some foundations and granting agencies expend minimal resources on staff in order to maximize funding for grants. The FIPSE experience supports the notion that investing in highly motivated and well-managed staff, and encouraging them to be actively engaged in the projects they monitor, can yield extraordinary dividends. FIPSE's remarkable track record in institutionalizing its projects is, in part, a testimony to the strategy of investing in the power of human interactions, and to the recognition that, in seeking to bring about change, money alone is not sufficient.

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