The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education conducts two major types of policy research about the states. One is an analysis of all states, such as found in the Measuring Up series (2000, 2002, 2004) of state performance in higher education. The other type of research is case studies of single states to help us understand the public policies and policy environment related to important issues of higher education governance, finance, or performance. Some 14 case studies have been completed on these topics over the past decade. Both types of policy research are important in our understanding of higher education policy in the states.
The Case Study of Utah Higher Education examines higher education policies in Utah in order to better understand the state's generally good performance in Measuring Up 2004: The National Report Card on Higher Education. Utah's historically strong performance, especially in terms of providing affordable higher education, provided an incentive for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education to further investigate the public policies of Utah that might account for its good performance as documented in Measuring Up 2004. Interviews for the case study occurred between September 2003 and January 2004.
The National Center was very fortunate to engage Kathy Reeves Bracco and Mario Martinez to undertake this study. Kathy Reeves Bracco is a policy consultant who previously worked with the National Center on a national study of governance in higher education. She is an author of Designing State Higher Education Systems for a New Century, published by ACE ORYX Press in 1999. She has conducted a number of case studies on the governance and finance of higher education. Mario Martinez, co-author of this report, is associate professor of higher education leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has conducted research and authored case studies on the governance and finance of higher education. Martinez was also an associate with the National Center Associates Program.
The National Center also extends its appreciation to the reviewers of the Case Study of Utah Higher Education: William Chance of NORED, Cecelia Foxley the former Commissioner of Higher Education in Utah, Dennis Jones of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, and David Longenecker with the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.
As always, the National Center welcomes the reactions of readers to this report.
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education