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Conclusion: Looking To The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2013

Conclusion: Looking To The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] A number of important themes emerge from the chapters in Governing Academia. First, decentralization gives individual units—be they university campuses within a state system, colleges within a university, or departments within a college—an incentive to act in their own best interests, but less of an incentive to work toward the common good. As Heller points out, at the level of a state system, decentralization of control may lead to wasteful overlap between campuses. As Wilson shows, decentralized budgeting in the form of responsibility center management models may cause units not to maximize the quality of the education ...


Introduction To The Book Governing Academia, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2013

Introduction To The Book Governing Academia, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] During recent decades tuition for undergraduate students has risen at rates substantially higher than the rate of inflation at both public and private colleges and universities in the United States. These high rates of tuition increases led Congress to establish the National Commission on the Costs of Higher Education in 1997 to conduct a comprehensive review of college costs and prices and to make recommendations on how to hold tuition increases down. Parents of college students, taxpayers, and government officials all wanted to know why academic institutions can't behave more like businesses—cut their costs, increase their efficiency ...


Collective Bargaining In American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel B. Klaff, Adam T. Kezbom, Matthew P. Nagowski Jul 2013

Collective Bargaining In American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel B. Klaff, Adam T. Kezbom, Matthew P. Nagowski

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] No discussion of governance in higher education would be complete without a consideration of the role of collective bargaining. Historically, most researchers interested in the subject have directed their attention to the unionization of faculty members. Given several recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that leave open the possibility that unionization of faculty in private colleges and universities may increase in the future, we discuss collective bargaining for faculty in the first section (Leatherman 2000, A16). Recently, however, attention has been also directed at the unionization of two other groups in the higher education workforce. Activists ...


Do Indirect Cost Rates Matter?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Jaroslava K. Mykula Jun 2013

Do Indirect Cost Rates Matter?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Jaroslava K. Mykula

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This study addresses the relationship between a university's indirect cost rate and its level of federal research funding. Both direct and indirect cost funding are examined. The data used in the analyses include unpublished institutional level data for all doctoral and research universities on funding and indirect cost rates obtained from the National Science Foundation for the fiscal years 1988 to 1997 period. Our major finding is that higher indirect cost rates are associated with higher levels of direct and indirect cost funding for institutions that initially are among the largest recipients of federal funding. In contrast, for universities ...


Enhancing The Attractiveness Of Research To Female Faculty, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Enhancing The Attractiveness Of Research To Female Faculty, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] CSWEP has long been concerned about the underrepresentation of women in faculty positions at major research universities. I have been charged by the committee with enumerating a set of policies that might enhance the attractiveness of research universities to female faculty. After presenting some data that suggest the magnitude of the underrepresentation problem, I do so below. In each case, I sketch the pros and cons of the policy. Although the focus is on increasing the attractiveness of research universities to female faculty, many of the policies would increase the attractiveness of academic careers per se to new female ...


Merit Pay For School Superintendents?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski, Randy A. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Merit Pay For School Superintendents?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski, Randy A. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Given the important role that school district administrators play in the educational process, one might expect their 'performance" to be of fundamental importance in determining both how much students learn and the cost of public education to taxpayers. Yet, while public debate has considered the issue of merit pay plans for teachers, virtually no attention has been directed to the methods by which school administrators are compensated. This paper provides evidence on whether school superintendents are explicitly or implicitly rewarded for their "performance" by higher compensation and/or greater opportunities for mobility. We analyze panel data from over 700 school ...


Review Of The Book In Pursuit Of The Ph.D., Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Review Of The Book In Pursuit Of The Ph.D., Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] When William Bowen, the President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (formerly the President of Princeton University), and Neil Rudenstine, the President of Harvard University (formerly Executive Vice President of Mellon), combine to write a book on doctoral study in the arts and sciences, the academic profession must take notice. And well it should. Building on Bowen and Julie Ann Sosa's (1989) predictions of forthcoming shortages of Ph.D.'s in the arts and sciences, In Pursuit of the Ph.D. provides a detailed analysis of the propensity of American college graduates to enter doctoral programs in the ...


Review Of The Book The Cost Of Talent: How Executives And Professionals Are Paid And How It Affects America, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Review Of The Book The Cost Of Talent: How Executives And Professionals Are Paid And How It Affects America, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Why should the former President of Harvard University be concerned that during the 1970s and 1980s the earnings of doctors, lawyers in private practice, and top corporate executives grew substantially relative to the earnings of professors, teachers, and high level federal civil servants? Why should he care that physicians with specialized hospital-based practices, such as neurosurgeons, have seen their earnings rise substantially relative to physicians practicing family medicine during the same period? In each case, the answer is that Bok believes that occupational choices are determined, at least at the margin, by the pecuniary and nonpecuniary benefits that the ...


Review Of The Book Prospects For Faculty In The Arts And Sciences, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jun 2013

Review Of The Book Prospects For Faculty In The Arts And Sciences, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Very few books by economists are announced to the world in a front page story in the New York Times. However, Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences by William G. Bowen and Julie Ann Sosa was (see Fiske) and this honor is well deserved. Prospects may well be the most important analysis of the academic labor market to appear since Alan Cartter's pioneering work in the mid-1970s.


Adverse Selection And Incentives In An Early Retirement Program, Kenneth T. Whelan, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Kevin F. Hallock, Ronald L. Seeber Jan 2013

Adverse Selection And Incentives In An Early Retirement Program, Kenneth T. Whelan, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Kevin F. Hallock, Ronald L. Seeber

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

We evaluate potential determinants of enrollment in an early retirement incentive program for non-tenure-track employees of a large university. Using administrative record on the eligible population of employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements, historical employee count and layoff data by budget units, and public information on unit budgets, we find dips in per-employee finance in a budget unit during the application year and higher recent per employee layoffs were associated with increased probabilities of eligible employee program enrollment. Our results also suggest, on average, that employees whose salaries are lower than we would predict given their personal characteristics and ...


An Economic Analysis Of The Market For Law School Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jan 2013

An Economic Analysis Of The Market For Law School Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This study utilizes data from a number of sources to estimate how lawyers' starting salaries relate to their ability, the quality of law school they attended, and whether the law school was a private institution. Based upon this analysis, a benefit—cost analysis is conducted of the value of attending a high-quality private institution. Analyses are also done of how the financial attractiveness of law vis-a-vis other careers has changed in recent years and a conceptual framework discussed for law schools to use in allocating their financial aid resources.


Reaching For The Brass Ring: The U.S. News & World Report Rankings And Competition, Ronald Ehrenberg Nov 2012

Reaching For The Brass Ring: The U.S. News & World Report Rankings And Competition, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The behavior of academic institutions, including the extent to which they collaborate on academic and nonacademic matters, is shaped by many factors. This paper focuses on one of these factors, the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) annual ranking of the nation’s colleges and universities as undergraduate institutions, exploring how this ranking exacerbates the competitiveness among American higher education institutions. After presenting some evidence on the importance of the USNWR rankings to both public and private institutions at all levels along the selectivity spectrum, I describe how the rankings actually are calculated, then discuss how academic institutions alter ...


Crafting A Class: The Trade-Off Between Merit Scholarships And Enrolling Lower-Income Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Liang Zhang, Jared M. Levin Nov 2012

Crafting A Class: The Trade-Off Between Merit Scholarships And Enrolling Lower-Income Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Liang Zhang, Jared M. Levin

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] It is well known that test scores are correlated with students’ socio-economic backgrounds. Hence, to the extent that colleges are successful in “buying” higher test-score students, one should expect that their enrollment of students from families in the lower tails of the family income distribution should decline. However, somewhat surprisingly, there have been no efforts to test if this is occurring. Our paper presents such a test. While institutional-level data on the dollar amounts of merit scholarships offered by colleges and universities are not available, data are available on the number of National Merit Scholarship (NMS) winners attending an ...


The 1995 Nrc Ratings Of Doctoral Programs: A Hedonic Model, Ronald Ehrenberg, Peter Hurst Nov 2012

The 1995 Nrc Ratings Of Doctoral Programs: A Hedonic Model, Ronald Ehrenberg, Peter Hurst

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

We describe how one can use multivariate regression models and data collected by the National Research Council as part of its recent ranking of doctoral programs (Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change) to analyze how measures of program size, faculty seniority, faculty research productivity, and faculty productivity in producing doctoral degrees influence subjective ratings of doctoral programs in 35 academic fields. Using data for one of the fields, economics, we illustrate how university administrators can use the models to compute the impact of changing the number of faculty positions they allocate to the field on the ranking ...


The Impact Of U.S. News & World Report College Rankings On Admissions Outcomes And Pricing Policies At Selective Private Institutions, James Monks, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Nov 2012

The Impact Of U.S. News & World Report College Rankings On Admissions Outcomes And Pricing Policies At Selective Private Institutions, James Monks, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Despite the widespread popularity of the U.S. News & World Report College rankings there has been no empirical analysis of the impact of these rankings on applications, admissions, and enrollment decisions, as well as on institutions' pricing policies. Our analyses indicate that a less favorable rank leads an institution to accept a greater percentage of its applicants, a smaller percentage of its admitted applicants matriculate, and the resulting entering class is of lower quality, as measured by its average SAT scores. While tuition levels are not responsive to less favorable rankings, institutions offer less visible price discounts in the form ...


Faculty Turnover At American Colleges And Universities: Analyses Of Aaup Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Hirschel Kasper, Daniel Rees Nov 2012

Faculty Turnover At American Colleges And Universities: Analyses Of Aaup Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Hirschel Kasper, Daniel Rees

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper uses institutional level data collected by the American Association of University Professors as part of their annual survey of faculty members' compensation to analyze faculty turnover. Analyses of aggregate data over almost a twenty-year period highlight how remarkably stable faculty retention rates have been nationwide and how little they vary across broad categories of institutions. Analyses of variations in faculty retention rates across individual institutions stress the role that faculty compensation levels play. Higher levels of compensation appear to increase retention rates for assistant and associate professors (but not for full professors) and the magnitude of this effect ...


Did Teachers’ Race And Verbal Ability Matter In The 1960’S? Coleman Revisited, Ronald Ehrenberg, Dominic Brewer Nov 2012

Did Teachers’ Race And Verbal Ability Matter In The 1960’S? Coleman Revisited, Ronald Ehrenberg, Dominic Brewer

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Our paper reanalyzes data from the classic 1966 study Equality of Educational Opportunity, or Coleman Report. It addresses whether teacher characteristics, including race and verbal ability, influenced "synthetic gain scores" of students (mean test scores of upper grade students in a school minus mean test scores of lower grade students in a school), in the context of an econometric model that allows for the possibility that teacher characteristics in a school are endogenously determined. We find that verbal aptitude scores of teachers influenced synthetic gain scores for both black and white students. Verbal aptitude mattered as much for black teachers ...


Paying Our Presidents: What Do Trustees Value?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, John J. Cheslock, Julia Epifantseva Nov 2012

Paying Our Presidents: What Do Trustees Value?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, John J. Cheslock, Julia Epifantseva

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Our study makes use of data from a panel of over 400 private colleges and universities on their presidents’ salaries and benefits. These data, reported annually to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 990, have been collected by and reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education for academic years 1992–1993 through 1997–1998. We merge these data with those from other sources including the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, Who’s Who in America, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Council on Aid to Education, and the National Science Foundation ...


Financial Forecasts For The Next Decade, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Financial Forecasts For The Next Decade, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Harold Hovey pointed out that the outlook for state funding of public higher education institutions during the first decade of the 21st century might not be as rosy as it has been during the last five years. The pictures I have painted of the financial futures for American public and private higher education echo his concerns. If sustained economic growth continues, academic institutions' financial prospects will be somewhat brighter. However, it is clear that the well-being of colleges and universities nationwide depends upon their diversifying their sources of revenues. Through their efforts to do so, the publics will end ...


On Estimating The Effects Of Increased Aid To Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski Oct 2012

On Estimating The Effects Of Increased Aid To Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, of the National Commission on Excellence in Education decried the state of public education in the United States and suggested a number of reforms. Among their recommendations was increased federal aid for education. The view was that this would lead to desirable outcomes such as reduced class sizes and higher teacher salaries, with the latter aiding in the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers. Somewhat surprisingly, previous research on the economics of education provides us with very few insights about what the effects of such proposals might be. For example, while there ...


Introduction To Doctoral Education And The Faculty Of The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Introduction To Doctoral Education And The Faculty Of The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Concern has been expressed, however, that the growing enrollment of foreign students in American PhD programs "crowds out" potential American citizen PhD holders and discourages them from pursuing PhD study. On the other hand, the aftermath of 9/11, the growth of research infrastructure and research support in other nations, and the growth of other nations' higher education systems all cast doubt on the ability of the United States to continue to rely on foreign PhD holders to meet our nation's need for scientific researchers and to fill future faculty positions. Given all of these issues, in October ...


Changing The Education Of Scholars: An Introduction To The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’S Graduate Education Initiative, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, Sharon M. Brucker Oct 2012

Changing The Education Of Scholars: An Introduction To The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’S Graduate Education Initiative, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, Sharon M. Brucker

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In 1991 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the structure and organization of PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences and to combat the high rates of student attrition and long time to degree completion prevailing in these fields. While attrition and time to completion were deemed to be important in and of themselves, and of great significance to degree seekers, they were also seen more broadly as indicators of the effectiveness of graduate programs. An array of characteristics of doctoral programs was earmarked as likely contributors to high attrition and ...


Do Historically Black Colleges And Universities Enhance The College Attendance Of African American Youths?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein, Robert B. Olsen Oct 2012

Do Historically Black Colleges And Universities Enhance The College Attendance Of African American Youths?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein, Robert B. Olsen

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Recently, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have become the center of intense policy debates. Do HBCUs enhance the college attendance of African American youths? Previous research has been inconclusive. Among other improvements, our study adjusts for the relative availability of HBCU enrollment opportunities in each state. We find that African Americans are more likely to choose HBCUs over other colleges if more HBCU openings are available. However, more HBCU openings don't increase overall African American enrollment. As we have shown elsewhere, attendance at an HBCU does enhance African American students' college graduation rates.


Method Or Madness? Inside The U.S. News & World Report College Rankings, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Method Or Madness? Inside The U.S. News & World Report College Rankings, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The rankings exacerbate, but are not the major cause of the increased competition in American higher education that has taken place over the last few decades. The real shame is that this competition has institutions focusing on improving the selectivity of their entering first-year classes. Institutions appear to be increasingly valued for the test scores of the students they attract, not for their value added to their students and to society.


Phd Attainment Of Graduates Of Selective Private Academic Institutions, Jeffrey A. Groen, Matthew P. Nagowski, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Phd Attainment Of Graduates Of Selective Private Academic Institutions, Jeffrey A. Groen, Matthew P. Nagowski, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] It is therefore important to understand the forces that have caused a decline in the PhD attainment rate of American college graduates. The fraction of bachelor's recipients who go on to receive PhDs nationwide is influenced by many factors, including high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates of high school graduates, college graduation rates for college enrollees, the distribution of undergraduate majors, and the academic backgrounds of college students. PhD attainment also depends upon changes in the economic rewards to pursuing PhD study relative to entering the workforce or pursuing study for other professional occupations, such as law ...


The American University: Dilemmas And Directions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

The American University: Dilemmas And Directions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] American research universities clearly are national treasures. Over the past decade, however, these institutions have increasingly come under attack for a wide variety of alleged sins. Further, their economic bases are increasingly being eroded because of budget problems at federal and state levels, coupled with increased demand for resources to meet competing social needs, such as health care. Thus, although American universities are national treasures, many fear they are entering a period of decline and may well prove to be an endangered species. Why are research universities being attacked, and why are their supporters in both the private and ...


Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The members of Generation X are the young faculty members of today and the immediate future. The panelists at this session of the conference were asked to discuss the effects of this generation on academic norms and institutional governance and the types of new models that may be emerging for academia as a result of them. More specifically, they were asked if the attitudes and loyalties of these young faculty members really do differ from that of the Baby Boom Generation, how their attitudes and behavior affect graduate programs, what academic institutions will need to do to attract the ...


A Brief Guide To The Aaup Salary Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

A Brief Guide To The Aaup Salary Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The AAUP data not only document faculty salary levels, but may also play a role in determining future levels. They represent average data for all full-time faculty members at the university, excluding faculty in medical colleges and health sciences. Thus, they can not be used to compare salaries within a discipline across institutions. They have long been used, however, by faculty on budget or finance committees to inform discussions with central administrators regarding the parameters of the next year’s budget (e.g. tuition increases, faculty salary increases, and endowment payout rates). Often, the faculty and administration will agree ...


Faculty Retirement Policies After The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo Oct 2012

Faculty Retirement Policies After The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The findings we report above have implications for both institutions and their faculty members. In some states, rapidly growing college age cohorts will require academic institutions to hire large numbers of new faculty in the years ahead to fill positions created to meet the expanding demand for enrollments. Nationally, institutions will have to replace a large number of retiring faculty members in the years ahead. This suggests that most institutions’ concern in upcoming years will not be how to encourage their faculty members to retire. Rather, their concern will be how to continue to draw on the skills of ...


Introduction: Choices In Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Sep 2012

Introduction: Choices In Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Society has high expectations for our educational system, and social science research should contribute to helping meet these expectations. Research on the choices that participants in the system make, and on the consequences of these choices, is particularly useful and often provides information that is directly relevant to the policy debate. Thus the four chapters in this volume all address the choices, and the consequences of choices, made by students, teachers, and school administrators. They are grouped together in this book in the belief that providing them this way will increase their influence on public policy.