Budget decision criteria, selected institutional characteristics and demographics of chief fiscal officers in public community colleges

Date of Completion

January 2000


Education, Community College|Education, Finance|Education, Administration




This study surveyed 95 chief fiscal officers in public community colleges located in the northeastern United States to determine if there is a relationship between selected institutional characteristics and demographics of chief fiscal officers with respect to budget decision-making. The survey used in this quantitative research study is a modified version of the Budget Decision Criteria Instrument (BDCI) developed by Hartley, Gable, Ferry and Taggart, (1993) which was administered to superintendents of school and university chief fiscal officers. The BDCI is designed to measure the importance that chief fiscal officers assign to the 15 budget criteria. Four research questions were employed to examine relationships among institutional characteristics, demographics of chief fiscal officers, and budget decision-making. The dependent variable is the score assigned to each chief fiscal officer's response on each of the 15 items of the BDCI . The independent variables in the study are: age of the chief fiscal officers, years of experience as a chief fiscal officer, years of experience in their current position, institutional size, tuition cost, and annual operating budget. The data analysis used in this study consists of frequency analyses, multiple regression analyses and analysis of variances. All analyses in the study will be evaluated at the .05 level. ^ The analysis of the survey data related to the budget decision-making criteria of chief fiscal officers in public community colleges indicates statistically significant differences and relations with respect to chief fiscal officers' demographic factors and institutional characteristics. The multiple regression analysis indicated 3 statistically significant relationships with respect to the 15 budget decision criteria and institution characteristics. While the analysis of variance indicated 4 statistically significant differences among the 15 budget decision criteria and demographic factors of chief fiscal officers and institutional characteristics. ^ Public community colleges are faced with a multitude of financial decision-making issues concerning the stability of their educational and operational programs. The relationships and differences found in this study may enable chief fiscal officers the ability to recognize those forces, which influence budget decision-making in public community colleges as well as provide an understanding of what works in practice. ^