Classic Case - Office for Civil Rights (B: Sequel)

Office for Civil Rights (B: Sequel)


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  • Product Description

    This case examines attempts made in the late 1970s to revitalize the much-maligned Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Part A puts the student in the position of David Tatel, recently appointed director of the Office for Civil Rights. The time is the fall of 1977 and Tatel's mission is to get the office back on track and, specifically, to prepare an annual operating plan for fiscal year 1978 for two federal district court judges who have found OCR in wholesale violation of its legal obligations. Part B recounts very briefly what Tatel did over the next two years. The sequel covers the same ground in much greater detail.

    Learning Objective:
    The case gives students an opportunity to examine the difficulties of setting goals and priorities for a federal agency, including theoretical and ethical questions inherent in choosing a program direction. OCR must determine how to allocate its resources while receiving little guidance from its superiors (the secretary of HEW, Congress, and the president). Internally the staff is made up of civil rights advocates conditioned to see things in absolutist terms: there is little planning or management capability. Finally, the case may serve as a vehicle to discuss a proactive versus a reactive agency strategy.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1982
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 502.1
    Case Author: Colin Diver
    Faculty Lead: Colin Diver
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 7
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/502.1.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/502_2.pdf