University of Delaware
John Barnshaw, the new director of UD's Higher Education Consortia, aims to grow the University's national data-sharing consortium.

Higher Ed Consortia

John Barnshaw named director of UD's Higher Education Consortia


4:27 p.m., Sept. 3, 2013--The Higher Education Consortia, which administers the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity, better known as “The Delaware Study,” has named John Barnshaw as its new director.

The Delaware Study, operated by the University of Delaware since 1992, has approximately 200 institutions that participate annually, and has matured over the past decade to become the "tool of choice" for comparative analysis of faculty teaching loads, direct instructional costs and separately budgeted scholarly activity, all within academic disciplines. 

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The Delaware Study, which is the centerpiece of the Higher Education Consortia, is used by major data consortia and state agencies, including the Association of American Universities Data Exchange, the Southern Universities Group, the University of North Carolina System and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, among others.

It is a versatile and highly useful analytical tool for making management and policy decisions, whether at the level of the academic department, institution, state or national level. Since its inception, nearly 600 institutions have participated in the Delaware Study.

As director of the Higher Education Consortia, Barnshaw will direct all aspects of the Delaware Study from recruitment and retention of institutional participants, to data aggregation by consortia members, to the release of the final peer analyses.

The Higher Education Consortia also offers a variety of services including statistical and analytical expertise as well as consulting services related to institutional performance beyond instructional costs, faculty productivity, and comparative benchmarking capabilities.

Barnshaw will lead new activities that have widespread application for institutional performance, including a faculty productivity study and a series of services that target the diversity of budgeting frameworks that now map the institutional landscape. These frameworks include data and services for traditional, centralized budgeting structures as well as more recent, decentralized budgeting structures, such as responsibility-based budgeting, which includes the University of Delaware.  

“As colleges diversify their budgeting structures, the Higher Education Consortia is adapting to meet the ever increasing data demands of colleges and universities, particularly as those demands relate to cost and institutional performance,” Barnshaw said. “The Delaware Study emerged from a desire to better understand ‘Who teaches what to whom, and at what cost?’ and the answers we generate each year to that question set are what keep our participants returning to the study.”

However, over the past two decades, new questions have arisen and the Higher Education Consortia is partnering with institutions to better help them address those questions related to cost and institutional performance.

“Those new questions are what will help grow the study and the consortia long-term, which is why I find this job so interesting and exciting,” Barnshaw added.

In 2010, Barnshaw received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Delaware, where he was a University Dissertation Fellow. Prior to his current position, he served as a teacher and researcher in various capacities at the University of South Florida, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Technical College.

“I am excited to have Dr. Barnshaw join the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness,” said John Sawyer, interim associate provost for the office. “He brings great energy, a wealth of analytical expertise and a heightened focus on developing the consortia to more fully serve the informational needs of its members.”

Article by Kelley Bregenzer

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