Advertisement

Higher Education

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 267–291 | Cite as

University governance: Governing bodies as providers and users of annual reports

  • Keith Dixon
  • David Coy
Article

Abstract

Where members of governing bodies of universities stand in relation to their institution’s annual reports is discussed in the broader context of trends in university governance. Data were collected from members of the governing councils of New Zealand’s eight universities using questionnaire surveys in 1993 and 2001. During this interval, a marked improvement in the quality of these institutions’ reports occurred (Coy, D. and Dixon, K. (2004). British Accounting Review 3, 679–106). Issues explored include information used to govern and the equivocal roles of council members juxtaposed as they are between university participants and stakeholders. They are cast as strategic decision makers, holders of university senior management and other participants to account, and annual report publishers, and so publicly accountable persons. Findings include that annual reports provide valuable information for members to make decisions and hold their universities accountable; and that some shortcomings discerned by members in report qualitative characteristics and contents persist, despite seeming to be within the discretion of councils to address. Speculations about why this might be so are advanced, including for further investigation; and other suggestions for further research are put forward.

Keywords

accountability annual reporting evaluation university governance 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Accounting Association (1977). Committee on Concepts and Standards for External Financial Reports. Statement of Accounting Theory and Theory Acceptance. Sarasota: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  2. Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) (2000). Statement of Expectations – to Assist the Members of Tertiary Education Institution Councils [Online]. Available: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid=4681&data=lGoogle Scholar
  3. Association of Governing Boards and Colleges (2000). The Glion Declaration II: The Governance of Universities (Occasional paper No. 26). Washington, DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett B. (2002). The new style boards of governors – are they working?. Higher Education Quarterly 56: 287–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buckland R. (2004). Universities and industry: Does the Lambert code of governance meet the requirements of good governance?. Higher Education Quarterly 58: 243–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coaldrake, P., Stedman, L. and Little, P. (2003). Issues in Australian University Governance [Online]. Available: http://www.chancellery.qut.edu.au/vc/governancefinal.pdfGoogle Scholar
  7. Committee of University Chairmen (2004). Guide for Members of Higher Education Governing Bodies in the UK [Online]. Available: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2004/04_40/Google Scholar
  8. Cornforth C. and Edwards C. (1998). Good Governance: Developing Effective Board–Management Relations in Public and Voluntary Organisations. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Coy D. and Dixon K. (2004). The public accountability index: Crafting a parametric disclosure index for annual reports. British Accounting Review 36: 79–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coy D., Dixon K., Buchanan J. and Tower G. (1997). Recipients of public sector annual reports: Theory and an empirical study compared. British Accounting Review 29: 103–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Coy D., Fischer M. and Gordon T. (2001). Public accountability: A new paradigm for college and university annual reports. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 12: 1–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coy D., Tower G. and Dixon K. (1991). Tertiary education in New Zealand: Radical changes to funding and accountability. Journal of Tertiary Education Administration 13: 83–93Google Scholar
  13. Dixon K., Coy D. and Tower G. (1995). Perceptions and experiences of annual report preparers. Higher Education 29: 287–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edwards, M. (2003). Review of New Zealand Tertiary Education Governance. Wellington: Ministry of EducationGoogle Scholar
  15. Higher Education Management Review Committee (1995). Higher Education Management Review. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service [Online]. Available: http://www.dest.gov.au/archive/highered/otherpub/hoare/hoareidx.htmGoogle Scholar
  16. International Federation of Accountants Public Sector Committee (2001). Governance in the Public Sector: A Governing Body Perspective. New York: International Federation of AccountantsGoogle Scholar
  17. Knight M. (2002). Governance in higher education corporations: A consideration of the constitution created by the 1992 Act. Higher Education Quarterly 56: 276–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Likierman A. (1992). Financial reporting in the public sector. In: Henley, D., Likierman, A., Perrin, J., Lapsley, I. and Whiteoak, J. (eds) Public Sector Accounting and Financial Control, pp 10–42. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Locke S. (2001). Governance in New Zealand tertiary institutions: Concepts and practice. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 23(1): 33–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McCulloch B.W. and Ball I. (1992). Accounting in the context of public sector management reform. Financial Accountability and Management 8: 7–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (1997). Higher Education in the Learning Society [Online]. Available: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/Google Scholar
  22. New Zealand Society of Accountants (1987). Statement of Public Sector Accounting Concepts. Wellington: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  23. New Zealand Society of Accountants (1993). Statement of Concepts for General Purpose Financial Reporting. Wellington: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  24. Scott G. and Gorringe P. (1989). Reform of the core public sector: The New Zealand experience. Australian Journal of Public Administration 48: 81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shattock M. (2004). The Lambert code: Can we define best practice?. Higher Education Quarterly 58: 229–2432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Solomons D. (1986). Making Accounting Policy: The Quest for Credibility in Financial Reporting. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Sutcliffe P. (1985). Financial Reporting in the Public Sector: A Framework for Analysis and Identification of Issues. Caulfield, Vic.: Australian Accounting Research BoardGoogle Scholar
  28. Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (2001). Shaping the Funding Framework: Fourth Report of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission [Online]. Available: http://www.teac.govt.nz/Google Scholar
  29. Tower G. (1993). A public accountability model of accounting regulation. British Accounting Review 25: 61–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Dixon
    • 1
  • David Coy
    • 2
  1. 1.Open University Business SchoolMilton KeynesEngland
  2. 2.Waikato Management SchoolUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations