Planning for Higher Education Journal

How Much Does Instruction and Research Really Cost?

Journal Cover
From Volume 27 Number 3 | Spring 1999
By Patrick M. Rooney, Victor M.H. Borden, Timothy J. Thomas
Planning Types: Resource Planning

Institutions referenced in this resource:
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

A program cost study was conducted at a large midwestern university to determine department level expenses and revenues associated with the mission-critical activites of instruction, research, and service. The analysis is patterned after a controversial study conducted at the University of Rhode Island (Swonger and Mead, 1996: Cordes, 1996, Roush, 1996) but includes significant improvements based in the availability of well-developed models for allocating costs (Responsibility-Centered Management, or RCM) and attributing faculty effort to these mission-critical activites (Instructional Effort Report/Capacity Model). Rcm has been used for nearly a decade to allocate all campus revenue and expenses to academic units. The IER/Capacity Model has developed over the course of the ten years from a system for illustrating faculty teaching loeads to one concerned with total faculty workloads. The results of the cost study ere promulgated through a series of reports and meetings with university administrators. The reports provide to them a wealth of cost information to supplement exisiting evaluation mechaisms assesing program process and quality and were incorporataed into the annual planning and budget proceses across all campus units.

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