David A. Tandberg

Florida State University
Educational leadership and Policy Studies

1205H Stone Building
Tallahassee, FL
dtandberg@fsu.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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Dr. Tandberg is particularly interested in the political antecedents of state higher education policy and finance decisions. This includes the influence of interest groups, the role of the governor and the legislature and higher education governance structures. He is also interested in broader issues involving state higher education finance, governance and economics. Dr. Tandberg is also interested in policy evaluation and in particular evaluating state policies meant to increase access and success in higher education.

Tandberg, D. A. 2010. "Politics, interest groups and state funding of public higher education." Research in Higher Education 51 (5): 416-450.
Abstract: State support of public higher education has rapidly declined relative to total state spending. Much of this decline in support is due to the rapid growth in spending on such things as Medicaid. However, relative support of public higher education varies significantly between states. This study applies Tandberg?s (2009) fiscal policy framework created to explain state support of public higher education in order to evaluate the relationship between various factors and states? relative support of higher education. While Tandberg?s fiscal policy framework accounts for traditional economic and demographic factors in explaining state support for higher education, it also draws attention to political influences as well including the impact of state-level interest groups. Using cross-sectional time-series analysis these relationships are explored over a 19-year period. The findings provide evidence of the significant impact of interest groups and politics on state fiscal policy in regard to higher education.
URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/4754580107105004/
Tandberg, D.A. and E. Ness. 2011. "State capital expenditures for higher education: ‘Where the real politics happens.’" Journal of Education Finance 36 (4): 394-423.
Abstract: Little empirical attention has been paid to state capital expenditures for higher education. While some anecdotal evidence exists that the process of appropriating capital dollars to higher education institutions is a particularly political process, no study has systematically examined the determinants of higher education state capital spending. This study counters this scholarly oversight by employing a longitudinal analysis of the factors associated with state capital expenditures for higher education. We use panel data including political, higher education sector, and economic and demographic variables from 1988-2004 on all fifty states. Our fixed effects analysis reveals that the process is indeed political. Numerous political factors were significantly associated with capital expenditures for higher education, including political culture, electoral competition, budgetary powers of the governor, higher education governance structures, interest groups, legislative professionalism, and voter turnout. Although some higher education sector factors, such as private giving and tuition rates, proved to have a significant influence on state capital expenditures for higher education, the results provide substantial evidence that politics matters in the appropriation of these capital dollars. These findings suggest that more research is needed to understand how the determinants of state capital spending differ from other state expenditures on higher education.
URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_education_finance/summary/v036/36.4.tandberg.html
Tandberg, D. A., and C. K. Anderson. Forthcoming - available on-line now. "Where politics is a blood sport: Restructuring state higher education governance in Massachusetts." Educational Policy.
Abstract: The 1991 restructuring of Massachusetts system of higher education is explained and analyzed using McLendon?s ?Policy Stream Model of Decentralization Agenda Setting,? a revised Garbage Can model, which proves useful insofar as the case is placed in its historical context. Public higher education in Massachusetts has suffered as a ?second class? citizen next to its prominent private counterparts and is often subject to the whims of politicians. The 1991 restructuring can be explained by public higher education?s historical relationship with Massachusetts? state government and the political environment of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The 1991 restructuring is an intrinsically interesting historical case of governance reform given its political nature, the scope of the reform, and the possible lessons that can be gleaned from it that may inform our understanding of agenda setting for higher education governance reform and governance reform in general.
URL: http://epx.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/08/04/0895904811417579.abstract

Substantive Focus:
Education Policy PRIMARY
Governance SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY