Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Richard Hartnett.


A major crisis facing Japanese higher education is the inability of university leaders to respond to changes, such as enrollment declines and sudden economic downturns. In response, sweeping changes were proposed by the Japanese government-appointed University Council in October 1998 that may result in increased autonomy of universities and reduced control by the Ministry of Education. This case study describes the governance patterns of a single private university in Japan and explores the following question: What are the differences between the patterns of governance at Toshi University (not the real name of the university) before and after the 1998 University Council reforms?;In order to answer this question, the study provides a description and analysis of the bureaucratic, collegial, political and other governance patterns at Toshi University as reflected through past major decisions on the functions of academic programs, faculty affairs, financial affairs and external relations. The study also examines the implications of the new reforms for those patterns. The description of governance is presented through an interweaving of interviews, relevant documents, observations and the survey results.;The researcher collected the descriptive data used for the case study analysis on site. Interviews were conducted with faculty members, administrators, students and alumni. Responses from these interviews were compared to determine who were the primary decision-makers and which decisions were most significant as they related to their impact on the mission, priorities and implications for the future direction of the university. The information from the interviews was then used to complete a survey that was used to collect data from all full-time faculty members.;The conclusion that was reached from the analysis of the research findings was that no one model can be used to describe the governance patterns that existed before and after the 1998 University Council reforms. Indeed, a mixture of models based on Japanese cultural values, such as consensus, harmony and group solidarity, is needed to describe the situation at Toshi University. It was also determined that the 1998 reforms have served to either strengthen or weaken these various patterns of governance with respect to one or more functions of decision-making.