The Incremental Marketization and Centralization of State Control of Public Higher Education: A Hermeneutic Interpretation of Legislative and Administrative Texts

  • Clifford P. Harbour Colorado State University


In this article, the author reports on an analysis and interpretation of institutional accountability legislation enacted by the Colorado General Assembly from 1985 to 2005. The method of inquiry for the study was grounded in the principles of hermeneutics and narrative policy analysis. Analysis and interpretation of legislative and administrative texts reveal how they rationalize marketized higher education and centralized state control of public colleges and universities. This interpretation also explains how a new integrated funding and accountability framework creates de facto institutional missions validated by marketization and secured by centralization of state control.