The Public Good, Productivity and Purpose: New Economic Models for Higher Education
How should the civic work of institutions be measured and related expenses justified? And what does productivity mean when applied to a concept like the public good?
Tighter resources have led academic institutions and public officials to focus on doing more with less. But what comprises “doing more” with public funds is subject to debate, and where enhancements to the public good fit in remains unresolved. Accounting for the public good when assessing academic productivity is the focus of this paper, which examines the issue from the perspective of institutional responsibility to deliver civic value. In a companion publication, the authors address the topic from the perspective of faculty.
This paper is one of five in the TIAA Institute Higher Education Series: Understanding Academic Productivity. The TIAA Institute undertook this initiative in support of the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ Economic Models Project, which aims to provide colleges and universities with knowledge, ideas and tools to advance the difficult structural, cultural and political changes required for moving to more sustainable economic models.