ERIC Number: ED333813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Productivity in Higher Education: Administration and Support Costs.
Massy, William F.
Capital Ideas, v6 n1 May-Jun 1991
Among the many reasons why college and university costs are rising are factors internal to the institutions which hold down productivity. Most efforts to improve productivity usually fail because they do not introduce new energy or information from the outside. In order to improve productivity, formal, non-quantitative evaluation should include a process-by-function matrix where function refers to activities generally associated with an organizational unit. A next step includes process flowcharts for the processes in the previous matrix (e.g., information on the order in which activities are typically or necessarily performed). Next the process must diagnose by examining the importance, reliability, and redundancy of each element of each flowchart. Once satisfied that only essential tasks are being performed, the next step is to determine whether they can be performed more efficiently using automation and information technology. Finally, the effort must optimize staff allocations by substituting less expert and hence less costly people for those with higher levels of expertise. However, despite the understanding derived from evaluation, direct management intervention is required to remove the impediments and unleash the forces that will enhance productivity and allow more resources to flow to academic operations. (JB)
Descriptors: Administrator Evaluation, College Administration, Costs, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Improvement Programs, Institutional Evaluation, Office Automation, Productivity, Resource Allocation
Stanford Forum for Higher Education Futures, Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, 508 CERAS, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-3084.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Forum for College Financing.