NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED538558
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Accountability for Productivity
Wellman, Jane
Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability, Paper prepared for the Lumina Foundation Convening on Productivity (Indianapolis, IN, Nov 15-16, 2010)
Productivity gains in higher education won't be made just by improving cost effectiveness or even performance. They need to be documented, communicated, and integrated into a strategic agenda to increase attainment. This requires special attention to "accountability" for productivity, meaning public presentation and communication of evidence about productivity that relates it to the public agenda for higher education. Higher education and state government share culpability for fiscal habits that focus on revenues and budget balancing rather than on spending and outcomes. Changing this equation to value improvements in productivity will force changes in deeply embedded habits both within the institutions and in public policy. It will require a strategic approach to tackling the issues that need to be connected to create sustaining change: decision making; stakeholder perceptions and values; data; and communication. History shows that efforts to address productivity that lodge on just one or even two of these are likely to be scatter-shot and short-lived. Improvements in accountability for productivity need to be developed using metrics and language that help tell a story about the goals for productivity, which are to: (1) Increase educational attainment; (2) Improve credibility for sustained investments; (3) Reduce pressure on tuitions; (4) Focus spending in academic areas; and (5) Invest in student success. A glossary is included. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability. Available from: Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5410; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability