Students participation in administrative decision-making in the governance of universities in south-south nigeria.

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This study is on students’ participation in administrative decision-making in the
governance of universities in South-South Nigeria. The study became necessary because of the researcher’s experiences of student crisis in South – South Nigeria universities. Five purposes of study and five research questions guided the study. Four hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The research design adopted was descriptive survey research design.

The population for the study was 145,870 students with a sampleof 1200 final year students. The data collection instrument was questionnaire made up of forty (40) items. The internal consistency of the instrument was established with the use of Cronbach alpha method. The reliability co-efficient of 0.82 was obtained for cluster one, 0.76 for cluster two 0.68 for three, 0.91 for four and 0.88 for cluster five. These scores or values were computed and internal reliability coefficient of 0.92 was obtained and considered reliable enough for the study. Data collected was analyzed using mean and standard deviation.

The result revealed that: Students of federal and state universities agreed that the university disciplinary committees are composed of students and members of staff and students are free to contribute to matters relating to students discipline in the committee. Student of federal and state universities disagreed that the rules and regulations operating in the university for students are made by the students and the university authority.

Students of federal universities agreed that university authority seeks students’ opinions when rules and regulations are formulated for students, Students of both federal and state universities also disagreed that students and the university authority always decide hostel accommodation fees, Students of federal and state universities disagreed that; they take part in deciding internally generated revenue like: development fee, laboratory fee, and their views are not usually sought nor considered before increases in registration fees are made.

Students of both federal and state universities held the opinion that students’ leaders are elected by students and the list forwarded to the university authority for approval among others. Based on the findings, conclusions were drawn and the educational implications discussed. Among the recommendations made were that: Students should be represented in university disciplinary committees of their institutions, university authorities should involve students in the formulation of rules and regulations on students union government in both state and federal universities. Students should participate in decision making on accommodation related issues. Students should be involved in decision making on internally generated revenue and finally students should take part in the selection of their leaders.

Background of the Study
Decision making is a process of selecting from among a set of alternatives
in the light of given objectives. It can be viewed as a mental process resulting in
the selection of a course of action among several alternatives (Burker and Miller,
1999). Decision making is also defined as a judgment, a process of formulating
and implementing decision a conscious selection among alternatives and a process of problem solving.

The process of decision making includes the use of complex, logical and mathematical process (Okeke, 2007) Decisions are classified into
policy decisions, administrative or managerial decisions and operational or
executive decisions. Ogbonnaya (2002) defined policy decisions as decisions
made by public officials which give direction to public policy actions. While
administrative decisions are decisions which determine the means to be used in
achieving organizational goals (Obi, 2003). Operational decisions according to
Okeke (2007) are decisions which are made on daily basis a cases arise. He added that executive or operational decisions are concerned with the ways in which different programmes of the institutions are carried out.

Administration is a process of coordinating the efforts of human and
material resources systematically to achieve set goals (Ezeocha, 1990) while
management is defined by Peretomode (1996) as a social and interactional process involving a sequence of coordinated events planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling or leading in order to use available resources to achieve a desired goal in the fastest possible way. Administration and management are related because both involve the coordination of human and material resources to achieve set goals in any organization. However management is more embracing in the sense that it involve planning, organizing, controlling, leading among others while
administration involve more of the coordination of human and material resources in the process of implementing programme (Ejiogu, 1990). In this study, however management and administration mean the same thing.

Administrative decisions making in educational institutions are normally
embarked upon by university administrators, provost, or principals for the day to
day running of their institutions (Obi, 2003). In the universities in particular
administrative decisions covers such areas as regulation of teaching and learning
activities courses assigned to faculty staff, promotion of research, admission of
students, students discipline, welfare of students, and the regulation of their
conduct, budgeting and spending (Okeke, 2007).

These decisions are made by university administrators and staff. However administrative decision-making for students participation in this study covers students representation in the disciplinary committees of their universities, students participation in formulation of rules and regulation on students’ union government, students participation in administrative decision-making on accommodation matters, students participation in decision-making on internally generated revenue like tuition fee development fee, examination fee, library fee, and students participation in administrative decision-making on the selection of students leaders.

In his decision making theory called competencies decision making theory
Abbot (1974) taught that leaders should identify and differentiate between types of decisions in an organization, determine the type of information needed for the
decision and consider the involvement of all stake holders in the institution in
making decisions in order to avoid the negative consequences of taking decisions
without the consideration of some stake holders in organizations.

The researcher therefore anchored this study on Abbot competencies decision-making theory and on Hodgett and Altman (1979) bounded rationality decision making theory which seek to identify and select the best alternative from different organizational temperament and experiences before a decision is made.
It should be noted that the desire of the federal and state governments to
provide higher education for her citizens has led to the establishment of
universities in all parts of Nigeria.

The major aims of which are to produce high level manpower for overall national development, to inculcate the best values for the survival of individual and society, to develop the intellectual capacity of individual to understand and appreciate their local and external environment among others. (FRN, 2004).

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