UTILIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE SYSTEM OF ADMINISTRATION IN STATE UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the utilization of the committee system in the administration of state universities. The study was guided by four research questions and four null hypotheses. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was made of 1691 Heads of Academic Departments and Senior Administrative Staff of five state universities in South-East Nigeria. The sample for the study was made up of 54 Heads of Academic Departments and 282 senior administrative staff, a total of 336 using stratified random sampling technique. The instruments used for the study were a 40-item researcher – developed Questionnaire and structured interview which were validated by experts in Educational Administration and Planning as well as Measurement and Evaluation. The reliability analysis which was conducted using Cronbach’s Alpha method yielded a reliability index of 0.75, 0.73, 0.84 and 0.93 respectively for each of the clusters A to D the values thus obtained were considered high enough to regard the instrument as reliable for the study. The data were analyzed using means and standard deviation scores for the various items on the questionnaire while t-test statistics was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The result of the study among others revealed that the two groups of respondents strongly agreed that committee system makes useful suggestions and recommendations as well as provide investigative reports necessary for decision-making to the university administration but does not give its reports on time for quick decision-making. That a greater number of staff are given opportunities to contribute their ideas to the growth and development of the university and that committee system encourages delegation of authority to committee members which increases commitment. That lack of funds constitute a big hindrance, that committee chairmen and members lack skills in group dynamics, group management and democratic leadership style, that committees lack basic infrastructure for effective performance of their functions, that committee decision/recommendations are sometimes not implemented. The result showed no significant difference (P>0.05) in the mean ratings of the respondents on how committee system contributes to decision-making, on how committee system contributes to staff participation, on the problems that hinder effective use of the committee system as well as in the strategies for the improvement of committee system. Based on the findings the researcher made the following recommendations among others: every effort should be made by university administration to provide all that is needed to quicken committee reporting for effective decision-making. The vice chancellor and the senate should strive to implement committee decisions/recommendations that are consistent with university goals and objectives, university administration should ensure the training of both senior academic and senior non-academic staff in group dynamics, group management and democratic leadership style. University authorities should adequately fund committees for effective performance.