The Development Of The Image Of A Selective Collegiate Public Institution And The Effects Of That Image Upon Admissions : The Case Of The College Of William And Mary In Virginia, 1946-1980
Astin and Solomon a ttrib u te this finding in part to the large size of most public institutions (1979). Austin and Titchener (1990) offer support for this ranking o f schools. "It is a truism th at good students like to attend selective colleges where they can be sure of associating with other good students. Thus, the moat able usually choose p rivate institutions over state-supported ones" (p. 54), They quote a M erit Scholar, "Anybody can go to a state school. A il you have to do is be able
... to w rite your name. I feel like I can go anywhere I want and I would be a fool to start my professional life with a degree which has no prestige and won't get me anywhere" (p. 54). An image emerges th at private institutions are selective, sm all, undergraduate, liberal and excellent, but public institutions are large, unselective, heterogeneous, and generally in fe rio r. While these images and characteristics are useful end descriptive, they are not universal. The purpose of this study is to chronicle the developm ent of an image o f a public institution, The College of W illiam and Mary in Virginia, through the years 1946-1980, and to test the hypothesis; The Image o f the selective liberal arts college is not exclusive to the private sector. The College of William and Mary in Virginia w ill be examined as a case study from 1945-198Q as a possible im portant exception to the generalization. The in ten t of the case study w ill be to describe the changing image in the tim e period studied, and to trace the effects of the developm ent of that image on admission and enrollment statistics. The question w ill be whether a selective lib e ra l arts image has been developed and projected, and w hether If. outside publics, -the m edia, applicants, alum ni, state agents-and th e general public have accepted this image. Theoretical Fram ework The theoretical ju s tific a tio n fo r this study is the concept of "saga" as described In C lark's The D istin ctive C o lle g e . C lark's in itia l in ten t was to study the organizational form o f the private college, and to d eterm in e how a firs t rank liberal arts college achieves that status of in stitu tio n al a c c la im . As justification Clark notes th at the p riv a te lib e ra l arts college is the oldest of the institutions for higher learning in A m e ric a , Beginning w ith H a rv ard in 1A36 and William and Mary in 1693, this form dom inated education u n til the developm ent and growth of universities in the last h a lf o f the nineteenth cen tu ry. He also suggests th a t the p rivate college retains a special status in A m erican society and asserts th at "the lib e ra l arts college is the (his italics) ro m an tic elem ent in our educational system" (p .4). However, Clark's ju s tific a tio n fo r this research goes beyond h isto rica l primacy and public a ffe c tio n . Sociological concern associated w ith the form ation of formal organizations was also a ju s tific a tio n fo r the research. A ll organizations have a social role, ways o f behaving which a re associated w ith a definite position in the larger society. A ro le may be assigned to an organization by those in superior positions outside the o rg an izatio n , or an organization may d r ift into a role w ithout much conscious control o f e ith e r an external or internal group. In both role assignment and role accruel a passive posture is adopted by those w ithin the organization. In other situations, roles Glossary A t the le ft appear the code le tte rs by which each prim ary source has been cited In the text. ADC Papers -Alvin Duke Chandler, Presidential Papers, name of specific folder, College Archives, College of W illiam and M ary. ADC Report -Alvin Duke Chandler, Report to the Board of Visitors, Y ear, College Archives, College o f W illiam and M ary. BOV Minutes, D ate -Board of Visitors' Minutes, dote and page, College Archives, College o f William and Mary. CC, year -College Catalogue, College Archives, College of W illiam and M ary. DYP Papers -Davis Y. Paschal! Presidential Papers, name of specific fold er, College Archives, College of W illiam and M ary. DYP Report -Davis Y. Paschall Report to the Board o f Visitors, year, College Archives, College o f William and Mary. Faculty Minutes -Faculty Meeting M inutes, date, College Archives, College of W illiam and Mary. JACC Papers -J.A .C . chandler Presidential Papers, name o f specific fold er, College Archives, College of W illiam and M ary. JACC Report -J.A .C . Chandler Report to the Board o f Visitors, year, College Archives, College o f William and Mary.