Perceptions of the value of interior design: Factors influencing program accountability and sustainability in higher education

Allison Carll White, Ann W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify elements critical to the missions of universities with FIDER accredited interior design programs and to determine administrators' perceptions of program factors and faculty products and activities that define value. Research Design: Mission statements were obtained from universities offering FIDER accredited programs. Administrators in these universities were surveyed to determine perceptions of the value of various program factors and faculty products and activities in relation to the university's mission. Analysis: The mission statements were analyzed using content analysis. Analysis of the survey data included an aggregate ranking of responses and a comparison of groups based on demographics of program location and university type. Fisher's exact tests were used to determine statistical significance in the responses. Key Findings: Regardless of university type, elements critical to the universities' missions had the trifold focus of teaching, research, and service. Program factors perceived by administrators to have the most value in demonstrating relevance to the institutions' missions were faculty research/grantsmanship and large numbers of undergraduate majors. Likewise, faculty products and activities perceived to have the highest value were refereed journal publications and externally-funded research projects. Conclusions: To survive in today's university climate, programs must demonstrate excellence in a broad range of areas outlined in university mission statements. Further, this excellence must be communicated in language that is meaningful to administrators. Interior design programs must do a better job of making their relevance and importance to the university's mission understood by administrators and the public if they are to thrive in institutions of higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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