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Www.postersession.com How do small, private Northeastern US colleges align cost- containment strategies in their undergraduate programs with their institutional.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.postersession.com How do small, private Northeastern US colleges align cost- containment strategies in their undergraduate programs with their institutional."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do small, private Northeastern US colleges align cost- containment strategies in their undergraduate programs with their institutional missions? How effective are these strategies, if they are employed at all? Higher education institutions are under substantial pressure to practice cost containment (Boehner & McKeon, 2003; Grodsky & Jones, 2007; Zemsky & Massy, 1990 ) at the same time that the market for higher education is increasingly competitive. Colleges struggle to maintain differentiation in their program delivery and their mission in the face of these economic pressures. This research will examine cost- containment strategies and program innovation in light of individual schools’ mission statements using publicly available financial and institutional data. In addition to a broad look at Northeastern colleges, this research will also pursue more detailed questionnaire and interview responses from academic deans and financial officers. Finally, it will explore more detailed data from Babson College as a case study of changes in academic programs that were intended to address the goals of cost containment through improved capacity utilization while furthering the mission of the college. Our work will be led by three research questions: 1.What cost containment strategies are reported by small, private colleges in the Northeast? 2.How well are cost containment strategies linked to a college’s mission statement? Is there an association between a college’s strategic priorities, as defined by their mission statement, and financial outcomes? 3.How can Babson College’s experience with cost containment strategies and their aligned with the college mission inform other colleges? Our key contribution will be to examine cost containment strategies in light of institutions’ stated missions. This work will be immediately useful to college administrators and researchers interested in identifying innovations and best practices that may help colleges manage costs while building their programs and maintaining differentiation in the market. Current Literature Methodology A Preliminary Examination of Cost Containment While Advancing Colleges’ Educational Mission Lidija Polutnik, Babson College Jessica Simon, Boston University Megan Way, Babson College Descriptives Although existing literature about cost containment in higher education often focuses on understanding the drivers of costs (Archibald and Feldman, 2008), it is less common for studies to explore the role of innovative cost containment and to include a rigorous measurement of these costs. While a growing body of literature is exploring the cost implications of online learning, and the containment of administrative, library, and support costs, relatively few studies examine cost-saving opportunities in the traditional teaching environment. Some exceptions include examination of study abroad (Spiering and Erickson, 2006) and of the use of open-resource textbooks (Hilton et al., 2014), though neither represent a cost analysis using the ingredients method (Levin and McEwan, 2001) or the resource cost approach (Chambers, 1999). 1.Beard, D. F. (2009). Successful applications of the balanced scorecard in higher education. Journal of Education for Business, 84(5), Boehner, J. A., & McKeon, H. P. (2003). The College Cost Crisis: A Congressional Analysis of College Costs and Implications for America's Higher Education System. 3.Grodsky, E., & Jones, M. T. (2007). Real and imagined barriers to college entry: Perceptions of cost. Social Science Research, 36(2), Preliminary Methodology to Analyze Mission Statements Building upon earlier work (Palmer and Short, 2008), we will adapt the “balanced scorecard approach” (Kaplan, 2010), a business application intended to measure company performance by examining intangible assets. The approach has been applied to education systems (Beard, 2009; Palmer and Short, 2008; Storey, 2002; Taylor and Baines, 2012). We will analyze mission statements for 94 small, private colleges in the northeast US. Using IPEDS, we will code institutional characteristics using binary variables (Palmer and Short, 2008): Urban/suburban/rural location of the main campus Whether the school awards BA, MA, doctoral degrees Religious affiliation Full-time enrollment (undergraduate and undergraduate) Using the mission statements from individual schools, we will adapt a rubric that includes the following broad themes (Palmer and Short, 2008, p. 462): The specification of target customers and markets The identification of principal products or services The identification of geographic domain where the school competes The identification of the school’s use of technology The expression of commitments to growth, survival, and profitability The specification of key elements of the school philosophy The identification of the school self-concept The identification of the school’s desired public image Introduction Cost Trends This research is funded by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation Data We begin our research using data from IPEDS (Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System) for 2010 through We use a sample of 94 private, non-profit, residential, primarily four-year colleges or universities, serving undergraduate populations of 5,000 or less, in the mid-Atlantic or New England states. N=94MeanStd Dev Undergraduates2,5991,164 Graduate Students1,1951,064 Tuition & Fees Undergraduate$34,440$7,612 Religiously Affiliated36.8% Ratio Revenue/Expenditures % % % % Data Source: IPEDS – Subsample of 94 private, non-profit, residential, four-year colleges in mid-Atlantic or New England, Data Source: IPEDS – Total expenditures of subsample of 94 private, non-profit, residential, four-year colleges in mid-Atlantic or New England, Bibliography 4.Palmer, T. B., & Short, J. C. (2008). Mission statements in US colleges of business: An empirical examination of their content with linkages to configurations and performance. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 7(4), Kaplan, R.S. (2010). Conceptual foundations of the balanced scorecard approach. HBS Working Paper Storey, A. (2002). Performance management in schools: Could the balanced scorecard help?. School Leadership & Management, 22(3), Data Source: IPEDS – Demographics of undergraduates in 94 private, non-profit, residential, four-year colleges in mid-Atlantic or New England, 2013


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