ERIC Number: ED325041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Sep-11
Is There a Better Way To Measure Quality of Programs?
Tan, David L.
The study sought to identify clusters of variables potentially linked to departmental excellence in institutions of higher education, and to determine whether these clusters and combinations thereof could be used to generate rankings of programs which would be consistent with those based on reputation. It studied the interrelationship of variables, within clusters and across clusters. A total of 12 variables, were used: number of faculty, number of graduates produced by the program, number of graduate students, student academic ability, median number of years taken by students to complete their doctorates, placement success rate among graduates in gaining professional employment outside academia, placement success rate among graduates in gaining academic/research positions in doctorate granting universities, library resources, faculty grantsmanship, department research and development spending, program publications, and percentage of faculty members with published articles in a given time period. Principal factor analysis identified three clusters of highly correlated variables, accounting for 67% of the variance. The clusters were labeled faculty research, input cluster, and student cluster. Composite indicators, made up of various combinations of the clusters, were much better than clusters alone at producing ranking etimates similar to those based on reputation. (59 references). (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the European Association for Institutional Research (12th, Lyon, France, September 11, 1990).