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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 ...


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 The data used in the analyses include unpublished institutional level data for all doctoral and research universities on funding and indirect cost rates obtained from the National Science Foundation for the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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


American Higher Education In Transition, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Sep 2012

American Higher Education In Transition, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In public higher education, tuition increases in recent decades have barely offset a long-run decline in state appropriations per full-time equivalent student. State appropriations per full-time equivalent student at public higher educational institutions averaged $6,454 in fiscal year 2010; at its peak in fiscal year 1987, the comparable number (in constant dollars) was $7,993 (State Higher Education Executive Officers 2011, figure 3), translating into a decline of 19 percent over the period. Even if one leaves out the "Great Recession," real state appropriations per full-time equivalent student were still lower in fiscal year 2008 than they were ...


Financial Forces And The Future Of American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo Sep 2012

Financial Forces And The Future Of American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Recent shifts in state funding are altering the most basic realities of American higher education, from student access to faculty research.


Adam Smith Goes To College: An Economist Becomes An Academic Administrator, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Adam Smith Goes To College: An Economist Becomes An Academic Administrator, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] I have conducted research and taught classes on the economics of higher education for almost 20 years. I spent the last three years as a senior central administrator and executive officer of Cornell University. ... My experiences in this position opened my eyes to the use and uselessness of economic analysis in trying to help guide a major university and what I have learned is the focus of this essay. I begin by asking whether it is useful to view universities in a utility-maximizing framework, as I and others have done in the past. I show that the way universities ...


Are Black Colleges Producing Today's African-American Lawyers?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Are Black Colleges Producing Today's African-American Lawyers?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

In past years, almost all of America's black lawyers came from historically black colleges and universities because these schools were the only ones that would admit black students. Today, it appears that black colleges are producing increasingly fewer of the nation's black lawyers.


My Life And Economics, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

My Life And Economics, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Age 51 is a bit early to be writing a retrospective about one's career as an economist and one's life. This is especially true for me since I am not on track to win a Nobel Prize, to be admitted to the National Academy of Science, or even to be elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society. Nonetheless, as I write this essay during the fall of 1997, I look back on the 28 years I have spent as a PhD economist and see a record of accomplishment of which I am proud and a number of ...


How Would Universities Respond To Increased Federal Support For Graduate Students?, Ronald Ehrenberg, Daniel Rees, Dominic Brewer Aug 2012

How Would Universities Respond To Increased Federal Support For Graduate Students?, Ronald Ehrenberg, Daniel Rees, Dominic Brewer

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] This paper has demonstrated that doctorate-producing universities respond to changes in the number of FTSEG students supported on external funds by altering the number of FTSEG students that they support on institutional funds. While institutional adjustment to changes in external support levels appears to be quite rapid, in the aggregate the magnitude of these responses is quite small. A increase of 100 in the number of FTSEG students supported by external funds is estimated to reduce the number supported on institutional funds by 22 to 23. Since some of the institutional funds that are "saved" may be redirected to ...


The Flow Of New Doctorates, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

The Flow Of New Doctorates, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] As noted by Bowen and Sosa, their projections of the supply side of the academic labor market, which are typical of those used in other studies, are based on a number of simplifying assumptions. Similarly, their proposed policy remedies to increase the flow of new doctorates, such as increasing financial support for graduate students and shortening the time it takes students to receive degrees, are made presenting only scanty evidence on the likely magnitude of supply responses to these changes. This essay, which draws heavily from my study (Ehrenberg 1991), reviews the academic literature and available data (from a ...


Institutional Responses To Increased External Support For Graduate Students, Ronald Ehrenberg, Daniel Rees, Dominic Brewer Aug 2012

Institutional Responses To Increased External Support For Graduate Students, Ronald Ehrenberg, Daniel Rees, Dominic Brewer

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper uses institutionally based data to estimate how universities would respond to increased federal support for graduate students. It demonstrates that doctorate-producing universities do respond to changes in the number of full-time science and engineering students supported on external funds by altering the number of students that they support on institutional funds. Institutional adjustment to changes in external support levels appears to be quite rapid. However, in the aggregate, the magnitude of these responses is quite small.


The Underrepresentation Of Minority Faculty In Higher Education: Panel Discussion, John Brooks Slaughter, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Eric Hanushek Jul 2012

The Underrepresentation Of Minority Faculty In Higher Education: Panel Discussion, John Brooks Slaughter, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Eric Hanushek

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The 3 July 2002 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education described the matter we are discussing today in these words: "Taken together. African-Americans and persons of Hispanic origin represent only 8 percent of full-time faculty nation-wide, and while 5 percent are African-American, half of them work at historically black institutions. The proportion of black faculty members at white institutions is 2.3 percent, virtually the same as it was 20 years ago." We are privileged to have the opportunity to explore this issue from two different perspectives. The first contends that unless major changes occur, the number of ...


Policy Decisions And Research In Economics And Industrial Relations: An Exchange Of Views: Comment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel S. Hamermesh, George E. Johnson Jul 2012

Policy Decisions And Research In Economics And Industrial Relations: An Exchange Of Views: Comment, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Daniel S. Hamermesh, George E. Johnson

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] John Dunlop has presented what are certainly some of the most provocative remarks to appear in a scholarly journal in the labor field in many years. We find much to agree with in his remarks; however, we also find many areas where we feel he condemns research because of his overly optimistic expectations about its ability to contribute to the policy process, and other areas where he appears to be unaware that research in labor economics has already contributed fairly directly to policy decisions.


Involving Undergraduates In Research To Encourage Them To Undertake Ph.D. Study In Economics, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Jul 2012

Involving Undergraduates In Research To Encourage Them To Undertake Ph.D. Study In Economics, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Recent evidence suggests that the growing use of part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty nationwide adversely influences American college students’ graduation rates (Ehrenberg and Liang Zhang, 2005). I have become concerned that the increased usage of non-tenure track faculty members also likely adversely influences the propensity of undergraduate students to go on for Ph.D.s in economics for two reasons. First, many students enter college with the expressed intent of becoming doctors or lawyers, getting an MBA, or going on for advanced degrees in the sciences or humanities. However, with the exception perhaps of the small number of high-school ...