Descriptive Summary

Finally, an analytical tool that allows you to benchmark teaching workloads, instructional costs and productivity, by academic discipline.

  • How do the teaching loads of tenured faculty in your academic programs compare with national benchmarks?
  • What proportion of undergraduate teaching at your institution is done by regular faculty, and how does that compare with other colleges and universities?
  • Does it cost more to deliver a student credit hour of instruction at your institution than it does at your peers?
  • How do externally funded research and service within your academic departments measure up against your competitors?

Answers to these questions can be found in a detailed data base, accessible through the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity (Delaware Cost Study). Participation in the Delaware Cost Study affords you clear, concise analysis of data on teaching loads by faculty category, direct cost of instruction, and externally funded research and service productivity. The Delaware Cost Study enables you to compare your institutional data with national benchmarks arrayed by Carnegie institution type and by highest degree offered and undergraduate/graduate program mix within a discipline. Moreover, you may select your own custom group of peer institutions against whom you'd like to benchmark your data. Consider the power of the information in the following charts, taken from an actual department in the Delaware Cost Study:

The ability to assess departmental instructional costs and national disciplinary benchmarks allows for better-informed decisions with regard to resource allocation and utilization.

Who uses the Delaware Cost Study?

Over 600 colleges and universities, including:

  • City University of New York (CUNY) System
  • Connecticut State University System
  • Members of Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE)
  • Members of Southern Universities Group (SUG) Data Exchange
  • Members of Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium
  • University of North Carolina (UNC) System
  • University of Nebraska System
  • University of Missouri System
  • Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)

The Delaware Cost Study is attractive because it is unique:

  • Comparisons are made at the academic discipline level of analysis.
  • Teaching workloads are analyzed by faculty type, i.e., tenured and tenure track; other permanent faculty; supplemental faculty; and graduate teaching assistants.
  • Participants can define their own peer groups.
  • The data definitions, methodology and data collection tools are regularly reviewed by representatives from participating institutions.
  • The Delaware Study is longitudinal, and enables you to track trend data over extended periods of time.
  • The measures enjoy widespread national acceptance and use.

Some 39 states currently have, or are contemplating legislation or regulations mandating faculty accountability reporting. If higher education does not develop credible reporting techniques, external bodies will intervene. The Delaware Cost Study meets that need for a credible, national benchmarking tool.

To learn more about the Delaware Cost Study, contact:

Tom Eleuterio.
Interim Program Manager, Higher Education Consortia
University of Delaware
330 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Voice: (302) 831-2021
Fax: (302) 831-8530

Please note that a companion study is available for two-year instituitons, and more information can be found at the National Community College Cost & Productivity Project.

  • UD Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
    325 Hullihen Hall  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-831-2021  •   E-mail:  •  © 2014