Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Applying Statistical Concepts and Approaches in Academic Administration

Publication Date

January, 1995

Publication Type

Tech Report


Stephen E. Fienberg


Statistics is part of the curriculum of every institution of higher learning in the United States, and statistical methods and concepts are widely used in the sciences, management, industry, and for public policy. It is therefore surprising that these methods and concepts are rarely thought of as being applicable to the management of universities themselves, especially in the area of academic administration. In this paper, I consider a variety of university academic management problems, drawn largely from my personal experience and that of a number of friends and statistical colleagues, where the thoughtful application of statistics has been or has the potential to be of considerable value. Along the way, I also reflect upon some recent developments in higher education that may make it an appropriate venue for statistical pursuits.