Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Rong Chen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Kelchen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.


higher education, performance based funding, policy adoption, policy diffusion, accountability, multiple streams theory


In July of 2015 the General Assembly of Connecticut enacted House Bill 6919, which effectively established a task force concerning outcomes based financing for higher education. This task force would convene meetings discussing performance based funding (PBF) with the end goal of adopting this policy, which nationally had already been done by over thirty states. Using document analysis and interviews with members of this task force and other key figures in higher education in Connecticut, this dissertation looks to examine the political, economic, and social factors that led Connecticut to contemplate adopting PBF in 2015. Are the factors seen in Connecticut similar or different from the factors identified in other studies that looked at causes of PBF adoption? Even though Connecticut contemplated adopting PBF in 2015, the policy was never adopted. In addition to understanding what factors led Connecticut to contemplate adopting PBF in 2015, this dissertation will examine what political, economic, and social factors contributed to PBF never being adopted in state. The results show that the 2008 economic recession played a key role in changing the economic landscape of Connecticut thus setting the stage for the events of 2015. The results also show the influence that legislators have on adoption and demise of policy, the role agenda setting organizations play in possible policy adoption, and the importance of diffusion as both a factor to spur policy adoption but to also lead to its demise. The implications of this study point to the conclusion that PBF adoption in Connecticut will not occur in the near future unless there is significant improvement with the state’s economy. Implications also point the to the importance of securing the support from those in the academic world for the adoption of policy ideas such as PBF.

Available for download on Saturday, May 04, 2024