ERIC Number: ED246795
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
An Alternative Method for Computing Unit Costs and Productivity Ratios. AIR 1984 Annual Forum Paper.
Winstead, Wayland H.; And Others
An alternative measure for evaluating the performance of academic departments was studied. A comparison was made with the traditional manner for computing unit costs and productivity ratios: prorating the salary and effort of each faculty member to each course level based on the personal mix of course taught. The alternative method used averaging of errors and input from an external group of peers. Differentially weighted student credit hours (DWSCH) were selected as the unit to be costed. In order to test the use of unit costs based upon DWSCH, cost estimates were prepared for 50 departments at a major research university using 5 years of data. Attention was directed to the stability of the ratios, psychometrics/uncertainty model, and a construct validation of the economies and efficiences of scale. The results of the analyses show that the weighted data provide significantly better measures of costs and productivity than the estimates produced by the traditional Information Exchange Procedures. In addition, the use of DWSCH produces a major reduction in the number of measures produced in the costing process. By reducing the number of measures produced, costing by operating department focuses attention on the resources to be allocated to an operating unit. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (24th, Fort Worth, TX, May 6-9, 1984).