PA584 Week 3 You Decide Assignment: You need to draft an analysis and recommendation to the governor


Due to budget problems, a number of programs have had to be eliminated at the publicly supported universities in your state. One result is that certain specific majors are no longer available at any of those universities. Each of those majors is offered, though, at a state university in a neighbouring state. Conversely, your state’s institutions offer certain majors not available in that other state. An analyst in the state’s higher education department has advocated that an agreement be entered with the neighbouring state to allow reciprocity on in-state tuition for those programs. The executive director of the department is enthusiastic and wants to expand the concept to an interstate compact covering other areas of mutual interest. The speaker of the state house of representatives, however, has already stated her opposition to any such arrangements.

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Your Role

You are a member of the staff of the governor’s office and will be serving as an analyst on this issue. As a first step in your analysis, you will be listening to the other parties’ comments about the problem and the proposed solutions, if any. After hearing their perspectives, you will need to address various questions posed by the governor.


James Raika
Analyst, State Higher Education Department

The budget cuts the state has imposed for the coming year are draconian! Not only are students going to pay higher tuition, many majors are being eliminated. Some of those students can switch to another university here in the state to finish a program. But in many instances, the majors have been eliminated from all of our schools. And unless we take some action, if those students go to a state university in our neighboring state, they’ll have to pay out of state tuition. I say that our department enters into an agreement with our counterpart in that other state to allow students to attend at in-state rates if a program is not offered in the home state of the student. It would be a simple agreement for reciprocity on the fees.

Morgan James
Executive Director, State Higher Education Department

Trying to assure appropriate access to higher education for the citizens of this state is the goal of our department. And I like the idea of using some type of agreement with our neighboring state to try to alleviate this immediate problem. Yet I think we need to set our sights higher. We should explore entering an agreement with that state that covers any and all cross-border higher educational issues that we can presently envision. Look at the New England Board of Higher Education, for example, and all the good that has come from that compact for several decades. Not to mention the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Let’s see what all we might be able to accomplish with such an agreement.

Margaret Smith
Speaker of the State House of Representatives

While it saddened me to agree to the cuts to higher education funding, we’ve really had no choice the past few years. And it concerns me that the legislative efforts at controlling the costs may be circumvented by some attempt at our higher education department to propose an agreement with another state to waive the out-of-state rates in many instances. Some of our popular programs generate revenues for our institutions because of the high proportion of out of state students. We should not forgo that revenue stream. Besides, any compact would have to be approved by our house and senate as well as our counterparts in that state.


Given the scenario, your role and the information provided by the key players involved, it is time for you to make a decision. If you are finished reviewing this scenario, close this window and return to this week’s You Decide item, in your course window, to complete the activity for this scenario. You can return and review this scenario again at any time.


You need to draft an analysis and recommendation to the governor. At this point, the governor is looking mainly for your opinion. Legal counsel will be consulted if needed on the finer points that you may raise. Specific questions that should be addressed include the following:

  • What is the provision of the United States Constitution that may apply in the case of an agreement or compact between two or more states?
  • Do you think that the proposal of James Raika to just enter into an agreement between the departments falls under that provision? Do you think that his proposal is reasonable? What do you see as the major advantage of that proposal? In your view, what is a major problem with this limited approach?
  • Why do you suppose that Morgan James wants to take a more expanded approach? What do you think are some of the benefits of that approach? What do you feel are the potential problems? What would be the sequence of events for proceeding to try to gain approval?
  • If Margaret Smith is opposed to the idea, in either form, what are the implications? Why do you think she is against the idea? What might you be able to do to help coordinate a discussion between the parties?

After reading through the You Decide activity and considering the questions listed here, please prepare a paper in APA format. The paper should be written to the governor with a brief summary of the overall issue and responses to the specific questions posed above. The paper should be double spaced, 11-point or 12-point type, and between 750 and 1,500 words.

Grading Rubric

Your assignment will be graded according to the following criteria.

Understanding 20 Demonstrate a strong grasp of the problem at hand. Demonstrate an understanding of how the course concepts apply to the problem.
Analysis 40 Apply original thought to solving the ethical problem. Correctly apply concepts from the course material toward solving the ethical problem.
Execution 20 Write your answer clearly and succinctly using strong organization and proper grammar. Use citations, if any, correctly.
Total 80 A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.

Course: PA584 Intergovernmental Management
School: DeVry University / Keller Graduate School of Management

  • 17/09/2017
  • 40
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