Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

Committee Member

Rob Knoeppel

Committee Member

Russell Marion

Committee Member

Hans Klar


This study identified the effect of variables as measured by activity-based costing (ABC) on course and department margins through the lens of inconsistent rewards. Data were gathered from an ABC initiative conducted at a large public research university in the United States. The data included measurements from 4,421 courses across 57 academic departments. Significant multicollinearity was discovered in the initial analysis, and ultimately half of the variables measured in the ABC initiative were removed. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses were run to measure the effect of two latent variables comprised of the remaining variables on course and department margins.

The results of the study provided evidence that the selected variables have a significant effect on course margins and that differences among academic departments have a significant effect on course margins. The results of this study are applicable for education leaders who are managing margins across an academic department or college.The results also have implications concerning resource allocation in public higher education and the relationship between those institutions and their state governments.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.