Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Higher Education Administration

Major Professor

J. Patrick Biddix

Committee Members

Pamela Angelle, Lane Morris, Stephanie Bohon


Since national attention has been placed on accountability and productivity, it is useful for policy makers at religiously affiliated colleges and universities to understand and influence the increase in outputs, given limited sources of inputs and how productivity should influence institutional decision making. The relationship between these institutional outputs and required inputs has become the resounding chorus for numerous higher education productivity research projects (Bogue & Hall, 2003; Hunt, Carruthers, Callan, & Ewell, 2006; NCHEMS, 2009; PASSHE, 2011; SHEEO, 2005; Spellings, 2006; Vedder, 2004). However, little research exists regarding the importance of productivity indicators to the decision making at religiously affiliated private institutions, or if these institutions are tracking data focused on outputs in relationship to its inputs.

The purpose of this study is to research which productivity indicators possess a large degree of importance to decision making at religiously affiliated institutions, verify which productivity indicators have data currently recorded, and determine if there are significant differences in productivity indicator decision utility influenced by institutional religious affiliation, size, location, Carnegie Classification, or staff and faculty position. Data were collected through the Private Institution Productivity Indicator Survey, comprised of seventeen academic, financial, and faculty/staff indicators. The survey was completed by 193 participants, including presidents, chief academic officers, institutional research directors, academic, business, student affairs officers, and faculty. Measures focused on the importance participants placed on each productivity indicator to institutional decision making and identified their awareness of recorded data.

Many conclusions were drawn from the results of the study. First, the seventeen academic, financial, and faculty/staff productivity indicators included in this study, with the exception of only three, were determined to have high decision making importance and data collection tendencies for institutional officials at religiously affiliated colleges and universities. Second, Decision Making Importance Scores and Data Recorded Scores for each productivity indicator were consistent across institutions of different enrollment sizes, geographic locations, and Carnegie classifications. Some significant differences existed across institutional religious affiliation and the participant’s position, but the value for the majority of selected productivity indicators for decision making and recording productivity was still assessed at a high level.

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