Welcome to the 2016 National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity – The Delaware Cost Study for the 2016 through 2017 Academic Year

The staff of the Higher Education Consortia is excited to introduce a number of innovations for this year’s cycle of the cost study. We have implemented a web portal for data submission and validation that will increase the efficiency and functionality of the process used for stage of the study. Participants will have a web view of their data and the corresponding four productivity tables that have been traditionally displayed as an Excel template. We have added in the table 4 summary of cost information, a three-year average for five key metrics that are used in benchmarking instructional costs and externally sponsored research and public service activity. This web view will permit departmental access to key benchmarks for immediate use in validating the data submission and determining their position relative to the national three-year average for their Carnegie class. We are confident that this will be very useful and provides an added value for our participants.

The Consortia is engaged in three exciting research collaborations. Here is a brief summary of each of the projects:

Education Policy Initiative (EPI) Longitudinal Study of Cost Drivers 1996-2016

This project is both a replication and extension of the 2003 NCES Study by Michael Middaugh using Delaware Cost Study data from the past twenty years to extend the analysis from the NCES report to all Carnegie class institutions. The study will provide a longitudinal perspective on cost drivers, which will add important context for current and future benchmarking activities. This study will describe how departments have been able to rein in costs and which decisions have led to increases in costs. It will address questions including: What are the drivers of costs over time? How do costs vary across discipline and institutional classification? Are peer institutions investing in smaller classes, more upper division class sections, or shifting more teaching towards non-tenure-track faculty? How have productivity shifts influenced costs? How have cost differences across disciplines and institutional classification evolved over time? Click here for more details.

Applying Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to Productivity Evaluation among Data Derived Peer Groups in Delaware Cost Study Participants 1998 – 2014

Using data from the 1998 through 2014 cycles of the Delaware Cost Study, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is applied to define and examine efficiency at disciplinary level. Prior to use of the DEA model, peer groups are selected to establish focused comparisons using a structural equation latent growth curve model and subsequent cluster analysis. In many benchmarking studies, comparisons are made by selecting institutional peers. This project will use the data from two decades of the cost study to identify discipline level peers based on a model that includes Carnegie class the NCES classification of instructional program (CIP) designation and regional characteristics. For disciplines that are not operating at the efficiency frontier, DEA may be used to identify the efficient peers for comparison, and this peer group can be further used to suggest future performance improvements. Click here for more details.

The Faculty Activity Trifecta Study (FACT): Developing a Comprehensive Measure of Disciplinary Instruction, Scholarship, and Service

In 2015, the Higher Education Consortia (HEC) began a multi-stage research project to develop a comprehensive measure of faculty activity outside of the classroom. Ultimately, this metric will be used to launch a study supplemental to the Delaware Cost Study. Click here for more details.