Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Department name when degree awarded

Educational Administration

Committee Chair(s)

Charles O. Ryan


Charles O. Ryan


Nancy Porter


Carolyn Davis


Garnett James


Maureen Holdaway


Institutions of higher learning are presently experiencing budget constraints unparalleled in recent times. The desire to reduce unnecessary expenditures has extended from administrators to the faculty and even to students. However, one of the greatest difficulties seems to be in identifying those specific areas where economies might be effected.

Business and industry have experienced the critical need for effective methods of analyzing their costs in order to survive in a competitive economy. Cost accounting techniques have been developed and have assisted in pinpointing both strengths and weaknesses. However, the administrator in higher education has been reluctant to accept similar approaches for expenditure analysis.

The compelling "budget crunch" forces today's institutional leaders to use the available methods of analysis, even with their inherent limitations. The unit cost technique, as utilized in this study, is one of the reputable current methods of finance management that might well serve today's university administrator as an aid in the budget-making and regulating process.

Because the cost of graduate instruction is generally acknowledged as higher than that of undergraduate teaching, the prospect for a contribution to cost reduction in the conduct of graduate programs seemed promising. Limited data for instructional costs at the graduate level encouraged the selection of this study. The student-credit-hour method of expenditure analysis was therefore employed, because of its credibility, in ascertaining unit costs of graduate instruction at Utah State University for the three principal quarters of the academic year 1970-71.

All graduate courses taught during the selected period were studied by calculating the instructor's salary allocated for graduate instruction and the production of student credit hours. Only students completing graduate courses were considered in the student credit hours produced. No undergraduate credit hours were included even though graduate students were enrolled in undergraduate level classes.

The specific costs for each university instructor who taught graduate courses were calculated. The analyses revealed a range of such instructional costs in terms of student credit hours produced to be $1.73 to $7,900.00. Salaries and SCHP for all instructors affiliated with a particular department were totaled to obtain the instructional costs for graduate work in that department. The range per student credit hour of departmental costs was $18.45 to $263.96. Costs for each of the eight colleges, as a result of combining departments assigned to a college, were %59.11 to $124.45. The total salaries, as calculated, allocated for graduate instruction in the university was $1,728,577.00, divided by the SCHP of 21,918, yielded an average university-wide unit cost of $78.87.

The literature reviewed and the results of the study seem to warrant the encouragement of continued analyses and exploratory efforts in the identification of not only cost data, but significant related aspects of graduate instruction.