Capitalizing on the findings in our preceding study of a purely theoretical model, this paper aims to empirically examine whether and to what extent public universities’ institutional missions have transformed in recent years in the States of California and New York by quantifying a degree of functional diversification of universities. We focus on research funding and productivity, and public service activities, and have developed a Concentration Equality Index (CEI) to help in this analysis. We then apply the CEI over time to a selected group of public university-system campuses within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) systems. Among our findings: a select group of CSU campuses which all have roles at teaching-intensive schools, have gained increasingly versatile roles with rapidly expanded spending capacity in research and public service. These focal shifts resulted in some CSU campuses transforming into “UC-like universities”, that is, a trend toward an institution with multi-functional operations of equally weighted instruction, research, and public service. In contrast, several campuses of both SUNY and CUNY systems have come to place varied weights on chosen missions rather than evening out their roles in instruction, research, and public service.
November 14, 2017
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)