Research by WCE’s Kevin McClure Selected for AERA “Study Snapshots” Publication

Following its 2019 Annual Meeting in Toronto, the American Educational Research Association selected nine research papers that provide a high-level glimpse into new education research. AERA released the “Study Snapshots” to national media on May 22.

One of the papers selected isCost Efficiency and Privatization at Public Research Universities in the United States,” authored by UNCW’s Kevin McClure along with Marvin Titus, University of Maryland; Adriana Vamosiu, University of San Diego; and Steffon Gray, University of Maryland – College Park. McClure is an assistant professor at the Watson College of Education and coordinator of WCE’s doctoral program in Higher Education.

A key finding in McClure’s research is that the privatization of revenue sources at public research universities, as a result of declining state support, has not necessarily increased their cost efficiency.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about declining state support for higher education and the ways in which public research universities, in particular, are pursuing alternative sources of money, such as recruiting more out-of-state students and cultivating more private donations,” McClure said. “A few people have argued these universities will become more cost efficient as they become less reliant on government money and compete in the marketplace for resources. Our findings raise questions about this argument, and paint a complex portrait of the connections between privatization and cost efficiency.”

Additional findings are outlined in AERA’s Study Snapshot: Cost Efficiency and Privatization at Public Research Universities in the United States.

“We are quite fortunate to have a scholar of Dr. McClure’s caliber in the Watson College,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “The integrity of his research coupled with its capacity to speak to and inform our practices as a university heightens its importance. Congratulations to Dr. McClure for this recognition of his excellent work.”

AERA, founded in 1916, is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning.

McClure’s study was presented at the AERA 2019 Annual Meeting in April at a session titled Examining the Efficiency of Higher Education Policy. A copy of the working paper is available on the AERA website.