Human Resources In Broad Access Higher Education: More Reseach Needed


Susanna Loeb, Eric Taylor, Agustina Paglayan, Stanford University
Broad-access higher education institutions play a large and growing role in American human capital development, yet research describing how these institutions function and identifying the key elements of institutional effectiveness is sparse. Research focused on elementary and secondary education consistently demonstrates the significance of human resources – particularly teachers and school leaders – in educational production. Successfully recruiting, retaining, assigning, and developing effective instructors requires understanding the instructors themselves, and the administrators who both manage personnel practices and can have direct influence on student outcomes outside the classroom. The importance of these educators for student learning and educational attainment is particularly large when we restrict attention to inputs that institutions and policy makers can use as levers for change. Yet, like most topics discussed in this series, very little of the research on educators is set in higher education institutions and even less in broad-access higher education institutions. Given this lack of information on higher education personnel, the goal of this paper is to identify lines of research related to instructors and managers that are likely to be productive both for understanding the effectiveness of broad-access institutions and for identifying useful avenues for improvement.