ILR School

Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI)

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CHERI was established in the fall of 1998 to provide a vehicle for interdisciplinary research on higher education. Faculty and administrators affiliated with CHERI come from 5 different Cornell colleges and other academic institutions around the world. CHERI's current research interests include the implications of the growing dispersion of wealth across academic institutions, the growing costs and importance of science to universities, the financial challenges facing public higher education, the changing nature of the faculty, governance in academic institutions, improving PhD programs in the humanities and associated social sciences, improving persistance rates in STEM Field majors, and reducing inequality in access to higher education. CHERI is funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies (USA) Inc., the TIAA-CREF Institute, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 182
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    Does it Take an Expert to Lead Experts? An Empirical Study of Business School Deans
    Goodall, Amanda H. (2006-03-01)
    Should knowledge-intensive organizations be led by experts? To explore this, the paper studies the case of the world s leading business schools. It asks the question: are top scholars leading the top schools? A statistically significant correlation is presented. The higher a business school is in a global ranking, the higher the number of life-time citations of the dean. The paper offers a theory to explain this. Interview evidence is also provided.
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    Should Top Universities Be Led By Top Researchers and Are They? A Citations Analysis
    Goodall, Amanda H. (2005-10-01)
    [Excerpt] This paper addresses the question: should the world’s top universities be led by top researchers, and are they? The lifetime citations are counted by hand of the leaders of the world’s top 100 universities identified in a global university ranking. These numbers are then normalized by adjusting for the different citation conventions across academic disciplines. Two statistical measures are used -- Pearson's correlation coefficient and Spearman's rho. This study documents a positive correlation between the lifetime citations of a University’s president and the position of that university in the global ranking. Better universities are run by better researchers. The results are not driven by outliers. That the top universities in the world -- who have the widest choice of candidates -- systematically appoint top researchers as their vice chancellors and presidents seems important to understand. This paper also shows that the pattern of presidents life-time citations follows a version of Lotka’s power law. There are two main areas of contribution. First, this paper attempts to use bibliometric data to address a performance- related question of a type not seen before (to the author’s knowledge). Second, despite the importance of research to research universities -- as described in many mission-statements -- no studies currently exist that ask whether it matters if the head of a research university is himself or herself a committed researcher. Given the importance of universities in the world, and the difficulty that many have in appointing leaders, this question seems pertinent.
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    Title IX Compliance and Preference for Men in College Admissions
    Monks, James (2005-08-01)
    Title IX has undoubtedly increased athletic opportunities for young high school and college women. What is less well understood is whether Title IX has had the unintended consequence of decreasing educational opportunities for young women relative to men. This paper examines the relationship between a university's compliance with Title IX via the proportionality standard and the subsequent admit rate difference by sex. I find that a lower proportionality measure, indicating a lack of Title IX compliance, results in an increase in preference for non-athlete males in college admissions.
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    Relative Tuition Levels and the Educational Focus of First-Time Fulltime Community College Students
    Nutting, Andrew (2005-09-01)
    This paper employs a large panel dataset to determine whether potential enrollees in specific two-year college programs respond differently to tuition changes at community colleges and nearby public four-year colleges. Campus-level estimations reveal that enrollment in programs preparing students for transfer to four-year college is very responsive to two-year tuition changes and somewhat responsive to four-year tuition changes, while enrollment in occupational education programs is not significantly responsive to either two-year college or four-year college tuition changes. Student-level estimations reveal that new community college students are significantly more likely to enroll in academic (baccalaureate-oriented) programs when four-year tuition is high and two-year tuition is low, suggesting academic programs serve as a substitute for direct four-year college entry.
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    The Influence of the U.S. News and World Report Collegiate Rankings on the Matriculation Decision of High-Ability Students: 1995-2004
    Griffith, Amanda; Rask, Kevin (2005-09-01)
    The annual U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Guide to America’s Best Colleges is a much anticipated magazine among both high-ability prospective students and college and university administrators. In this paper we use a decade of Colgate University Admitted Student Questionnaire surveys to estimate the influence of changes in a school’s USNWR rank on the probability of matriculation of high-ability students. We find that the school choice of students is more responsive to changes in rank the higher (better) a school is ranked. This sensitivity to rank is independent of other objective measures of quality. As a group, women (aided and full-pay) are slightly less sensitive to the rankings than men, minorities (full-pay) are less sensitive to the rankings than non-minorities, and the rankings themselves have become more important over time for aided students. In terms of financial factors, the net cost of attendance along with the packaging of the aid matters for aided students. Finally, merit aid in general does not appear to influence high-ability full-pay students. Our results suggest that it is rational for college administrators (especially those at the highest ranked institutions) to pay attention to their USNWR rank because it is an important influence in yielding accepted students.
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    Marriage and Graduate Student Outcomes
    Price, Joseph (2005-07-22)
    This paper examines how graduate outcomes for humanities students differ by the student’s gender and marital status when they enter graduate studies. I find that being married has a positive effect on both male and female students. Male students who are married at the start of graduate school are on average 3.9% more likely to graduate by any given year and they complete their degree .32 years quicker than single male students. Married female students are not any more likely to graduate but they do complete their degree .21 years quicker than single female students.
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    Community College Revenue Disparities: What Accounts for an Urban College Deficit?
    Dowd, Alicia C. (2005-07-01)
    [Excerpt] This study takes a political-economic perspective to examine predictors of revenue variation in U.S. community colleges using the IPEDS 2000 Finance Survey data. Descriptive analyses of the IPEDS data indicate it is common for colleges at the 90th percentile of a state’s revenue distribution to have twice the per student resources as colleges at the 10th percentile. Ordinary least square regression results indicate progressive funding explains 7% of the revenue variation. Colleges serving higher proportions of students with financial need have higher revenues relative to other colleges in their states. Colleges located outside urban areas have revenues 13% to 18% higher than those in large cities, controlling for enrollment size and the proportion of part-time students. These findings, which explain 28% of revenue variation, may indicate differences in entrepreneurial revenue capacity or political compromises that “level up” spending to all legislative districts irrespective of student need. An urban community college research agenda is proposed to examine the political-economic mechanisms that create funding disparities.
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    Equity and Efficiency of Community College Appropriations: The Role of Local Financing
    Dowd, Alicia C.; Grant, John L. (2006-01-01)
    The study analyzes the equity of community college financing and demonstrates intrastate variations in appropriations to community colleges. The ratio of 90th to 10th percentile values ranges from 2.0 to 2.8 in half the states analyzed, levels which are considered high in comparison to K-12 finance inequities. In 10 states with high revenue disparities, the direction of revenue deviations is more often progressive in state-funded than in local-share states, suggesting the local role may undermine equity. Differences in economies of scale, geographic costs, and program costs are explored as factors determining funding disparities.
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    If Community College Students Are So Poor Why Do Only 16.9% Of Them Receive Pell Grants?
    Romano, Richard M.; Millard, Timothy (2005-06-15)
    In this paper the authors attempt to address the discrepancy between the perception of income levels for community college students, and the seemingly low percentage of those students who receive Pell grants. The authors try to solve this paradox using data, published and unpublished, from the U. S. Department of Labor.
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    Do Community College Students Benefit When Transferring with Other Transfers? A Cross-Section Peer Effects Analysis
    Nutting, Andrew W. (2005-11-01)
    Using grouped data, Ehrenberg and Smith (2004) found that community college students who transfer to four-year colleges have higher graduation rates when attending four-year campuses with large shares of transfer students. I test this hypothesis with student-level data and control for heterogeneity among transfer students. “Traditional” transfers—transfers who spend two or more years at community college—are the majority of community college transfers, and graduate at higher rates when attending campuses with larger shares of traditional transfer students. However, this effect is not significant when I omit students who have not declared a major at a late point in their academic careers from the estimations, or when I omit one outlier campus with a large number of transfer students with undeclared majors from the estimations. I also find that traditional transfers have significantly lower graduation rates when they declare majors in departments with large shares of traditional transfers. This last finding is robust to multiple specifications.