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Public Policy and Administration


Mai Moua


Literature examining the impact of the student learning accountability movement on faculty perspectives is insufficient, as little is known about how faculty perceive the requirements related to federal, state, and institutional accountability initiatives. This case study investigated the threat posed by the accountability movement on the stability of faculty engagement, while exploring how faculty perceptions of the movement will impact institutional and state policy. Using Levin's system of accountability as the framework for this study, the central research question explored how understanding faculty perspectives on the student learning accountability movement could promote policy within an institution. Data were gathered via a qualitative survey of 140 instructional faculty and from 21 semi-structured interviews with instructional faculty, accountability specialists, and state coordinating board officials. Data from the surveys and interviews were inductively coded, and then analyzed through detailed categorical aggregation. Findings indicated a discord with what Levin calls the feedback loop in an accountability system. Transparency related to institutional governance, not distinctively academic freedom and faculty engagement, was found to be a key component of a successful accountability system. Results of the study contribute to positive social change by providing higher education institutions with practical recommendations to address accountability pressures through a model for a faculty-driven accountability system.