Development and Validation of a University Governance Index f ...

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Abstract

This article aims to develop an index to measure the “university governance” construct based on the data collected using two surveys. This index will assess the corporate governance at the higher education institutions (HEIs) in Oman. Most HEIs do not have an effective mechanism to determine the effectiveness of the university governance system. The article aims to develop a university governance index (UGI), drawing the data from two surveys, the Governance Survey and the Management Survey, conducted at the University of Buraimi, Oman. The survey was administered to fifteen members, including the board of trustees, board of directors, and executive management. In contrast, the management survey was administered to forty-five managers and staff of the university. The first survey included Likert and binary items, whereas the second had only Likert items. The reliabilities of constructs with Likert items were evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha (α), and some of the constructs with binary items were evaluated using Kuder-Richarson 20 (kr20). After necessary modifications, an acceptable level of reliability was achieved in each construct. To develop a UGI, the authors assumed an unknown deserving value for UGI and estimated it using the observed values of the survey responses. In addition, to evaluate the index, the authors generated data from distributions with known parameters. Then, the sample index’s possible values were compared with the population index’s actual value and calculated based on the known parameters. The bias and the root mean squared error of the estimator were evaluated using generated data in 1,000 simulations and were found to be small. The authors found that the university governance questionnaires developed for assessing the university governance at higher educational institutions in Oman provide reliable data. In addition, the method of calculating the index also seems to produce a fairly accurate measure of this construct. HEIs can use this index to determine the effectiveness of the university governance system. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first empirical attempt at developing a UGI in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. This index will assist higher education institutions in assessing the level of university governance at the institution and plan for improvement accordingly.