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Can an Investment in Instruction Improve a College’s Bottom Line?

Colleges and universities are under increasing pressure to simultaneously cut costs and improve student learning outcomes. There is a perceived tension between these goals: the conventional wisdom is that increasing instructional quality is not possible without increasing expenditures, but colleges and universities have limited resources to spend on improving instructional quality. But what if the relationship between institutional finances and instructional quality were more complex than that? In Instructional Quality, Student Outcomes, and Institutional Finances, a new white paper commissioned by the American Council on Education, Jessie Brown and I explore the question of whether improvements in instructional quality can…


Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Art Museums
Learning from the Community

How diverse are America’s art museums? In terms of one measure—employee demographics—not very. A 2014 study, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and undertaken by Ithaka S+R in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), showed that the field is much more homogenous with respect to race and ethnicity than the nation as a whole. While these findings have already had widespread impact, the study also raised questions about how art museums can do more to reflect and support the communities they serve. Now as a follow up the Mellon Foundation, AAMD, and Ithaka S+R are collaborating…


Finding Funds to Support Student Access and Success
Ithaka S+R’s First Strategy Paper for the American Talent Initiative

There is ample evidence that low- and moderate-income students with the talent to earn admission thrive at top institutions when their financial needs are met, and graduate at higher rates than they do at less competitive schools. Yet, most top-performing colleges and universities consider students’ ability to pay in admissions decisions, at times accepting less talented full-pay students in order to meet revenue targets. For those lower-income applicants who are admitted, many institutions struggle to meet their full financial need. With finite budgets and multiple priorities, institutions limit the funds they allocate to need-based aid and other programs that support…


Collaborating to Support Religious Studies Scholars

Today, we are publishing a report that grew out of a new type of collaboration facilitated by Ithaka S+R. As we continue to study the research practices of faculty in particular disciplines, we have developed a model that harnesses the knowledge and expertise of librarians on the ground. For Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Religious Studies Scholars, sponsored by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) with additional support from the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), we partnered with 18 academic libraries to explore research practices in religious studies. Following a two-day training…


The Strategic Investments of Content Providers

  • February 2, 2017
Today’s news that Elsevier has acquired Plum Analytics from EBSCO provides the latest opportunity for insight into the remarkable evolution of the largest and most sophisticated academic content providers. From Elsevier and Springer to EBSCO and ProQuest, these publishers and content providers are reducing their reliance on their content businesses as engines of growth. While these businesses remain strong, they are pursuing one of two newer directions for greater growth. Aggregators like EBSCO and ProQuest are investing substantially in content support businesses, while scientific publishers are investing substantially in research management and analytics businesses. How and why they are making…