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Beyond Research Productivity: Matching Productivity Measures to Institutional Mission

Patricia Bartholomew
JSPTE , Volume 2 , 2017
Aim/Purpose: The aim of this paper is to develop a unified methodology inclusive of the three primary areas of faculty responsibility (teaching, research, and service) to calculate departmental productivity that fills the gap in methodological bench-marking tools for overall faculty productivity.

Background: A disproportionate number of departmental and faculty productivity indices in higher education rely solely on research. Productivity in other areas of faculty workload areas, like teaching and institutional and community service, are either measured separately or ignored all together – even when those activities are institutionally mandated. This does a disservice to those who work in those institutions and skews incentives.

Methodology: This paper utilizes a unified methodology inclusive of the three primary areas of faculty responsibility (teaching, research, and service) to calculate depart-mental productivity in five disparate departments (English, Biology, Mathematics, Sociology, and Computer Science) common to two universities with differing missions (teaching and service).

Findings: The results reveal the bias inherent in relying solely on research as a proxy for overall productivity in institutions that have differing missions.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Utilizing better metrics informs higher education administrators, promotes better decision-making, and allows incentives to re-align with desired outcomes.

Recommendation for Researchers: This paper recommends combing all aspects of faculty workload into a single benchmark index to better measure departmental productivity.

Future Research: Further research into improving this simple index is warranted and would include how to account for quality and other facets of productivity.
higher education departmental productivity, faculty productivity, productivity management, methodology, university mission, accurate benchmarking

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