I write to inform you of some important changes to the Delaware Study, along with a reminder of our data dissemination practices. As you know, over the past two decades, the Delaware Study as emerged as the tool-of-choice for measuring instructional productivity, costs, and externally funded scholarship at the academic discipline level of analysis. In these very difficult economic times, it is imperative that colleges and universities understand how their human and fiscal resources are being deployed, and how those deployment patterns compare with those at peer institutions. The Delaware Study's state-of-the-art methodology allows you to provide this critical information to your institution's senior management team.
The upcoming 2011 Delaware Study data cycle (with invitations forthcoming in August 2011) will see a number of important changes. I will be retiring from the University of Delaware on June 30, 2011, following 30+ years of service in the institutional research profession. The day-to-day direction of the Delaware Study will continue to be done by Dr. Allison Walters. Allison is one of the most capable institutional researchers I have ever worked with, and is the perfect successor to take the Delaware Study to new heights.
As I mentioned earlier, these are difficult economic times, and the Delaware Study has not been insulated from financial distress. We have been forced to increasingly rely upon Delaware Study fees to support the salaries of personnel directly involved in Delaware Study data analysis. This comes at a time when we are concurrently developing a series of webinars and other technological innovations intended to enhance and expand our services to participating institutions. For example, current participants will see a new more user-friendly secure website with the release of the 2010 Delaware Study results in July 2011. As the result of these financial pressures, we find it necessary to increase the participation fee for the Delaware Study from $500 to $1,000. As difficult as this decision was for us, we still find the Delaware Study to be an excellent buy when compared with the participation fee for other data sharing consortia.
One area of the Delaware Study that will not change is the requirements with respect to limitations on data dissemination. The secure website which houses our results states:
"As a participating institution, you have been given your institution's username and password. You are requested to share this sign-on only with individuals in your own institution who will be using the results of the study."
In light of our climate of increasing accountability in higher education, this is a reminder that the Delaware Study is a participatory data sharing consortium and our aggregate results are not meant for public consumption. The Delaware Study was designed as a tool for internal use to support institutional planning. While participating institutions may be required to share their own institutional data to their public constituencies, the comparative benchmark data are not to be shared outside of the institution. We appreciate your continued cooperation, and encourage you to contact Allison Walters with any questions or concerns.
In closing, I want to thank my friends and colleagues who have supported my work on the Delaware Study over the years. The quality of this data sharing consortium is testimony to all of you who have believed in the importance of solid information on instructional productivity and expenditures, and who have worked so hard to share that information. I will miss you all.
Michael F. Middaugh
Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness