This article attempts to assess some of the internal effects of external conditions in higher education. However gross the simplification, it can be said that external conditions in higher education mean that we have fallen on hard times. What we have is a sow's ear. And the best institutional management we could muster will not raise salaries, replenish supplies, replace old equipment, or repair buildings. If really great internal management will not make us a silk purse, what can we do? As a means of describing some things that can be done, consider several false correlates: (1) inherent merit and rational decisions, (2) growth and change, (3) relativity and responsiveness, and (4) tough decisions and participation.
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