Model Work

A Need-Based Funding Model for Universities

An Overview of the Components and Methodologies Used to Determine Institutional Funding Needs

Desirable Attributes of the Model:

  • Ensures adequate funding
  • Simple to understand
  • Provides equitable funding
  • Stabilize funding
  • Responsive to changes within institutions
  • Sensitive to colleges’ different missions
  • Based on reliable, uniform, and replicable data
  • Based on the state goals for postsecondary
  • Provides incentives for effectiveness and efficiency
  • Makes provisions for funding special-purpose units

Merits of the Model:

Institutional Need is determined using cost data collected and compiled by the University of Delaware on 175 institutions over a 10-year period and average SREB Faculty Salaries.

Equity is achieved when every institution receives the same funding for the same discipline and level of Student Semester Credit Hour (SSCH) produced by the institution.

Model simplicity is achieved by reducing the SSCH to four Cost Categories (determined by Delaware Data) and three levels of instruction (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral).

Model provides for unique institutional missions by special funding methodologies.

The Model

Expenditure Functions:

The model determines funding needs in six (6) SSCH/FTE-based expenditure functions, one (1) facilities square footage based function, two (2) special mission functions and a diseconomy of scale.

SSCH/FTE-Based Functions:

  • Teaching Salaries
  • Other Instructional Costs
  • Library Cost
  • General Institutional Support
  • Research
  • Public Service

Square Footage-Based:

  • Facilities Maintenance and Operations

Special Missions:

  • Traditional Minority Mission
  • Land Grant Mission

Diseconomy of Scale:

  • Institutional Support & Other Instructional Costs for less than 3500 FTE

Teaching Salaries


Sum each institution’s SSCH by CIP-code into 4 discipline cost-categories by 3 levels, undergraduate, graduate (all non-doctoral level graduate enrollment), and doctoral levels.

Result = 12-cell matrix SSCH enrollment

Four Disciplines Cost Categories:

  1. (Least Expensive) - English, General Studies, Mathematics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Health-Related Knowledge, Interpersonal Skills, Leisure & Recreational Activities, Personal Awareness, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Administration, and Social Sciences
  2. Ethnic & Cultural Studies, Marketing, Communications, Education, Languages, Home Economics, Law, Biological Sciences, Parks & Recreation, Basic Skills, Construction Trades, Mechanics, Precisions Production, Transportation, Business Management
  3. Agriculture, Conservation, Architecture, Communications Technologies Computer & Information Sciences, Library Science, Physical Sciences, Science Tech, Visual & Performing Arts, Health Professions
  4. (Most Expensive) – Engineering, Engineering Related Technology

SSCH Required to Produce an FTE Faculty Member by Cost Category and Level

Cost Categories Undergraduate Graduate Doctoral
I. 645 170 130
II. 480 250 145
III. 365 160 120
IV. 230 102 70


Each institution’s SSCH are classified into the 12-cell Cost Category-Level Matrix.

Each of the 12 SSCH cells divided by the SSCH required by that Cost Category for an FTE faculty.

FTE faculty numbers are totaled for each of the 3 levels.

The FTE faculty are multiplied by an SREB average faculty salary for the appropriate level ensuring equal funding for all SSCH of the same discipline and level.

Other Instructional Costs

Expenditure types:

Academic Departmental Operating, Non-Credit Instruction, Correspondence Courses, Faculty Staff Benefits, etc.


45% of Teaching Salaries

Library Costs

Expenditure types:

Librarians and support staff salaries, fringe benefits, library maintenance and operations, collection acquisitions and maintenance, and library technology costs.


11% of the sum of Teaching Salaries and Other Instructional Costs

General Institutional Support

Expenditure types:

Student services, financial aid, academic deans and other academic support staff, general administration, campus security, admissions, personal and academic counseling, campus computing centers, etc.


54% of the sum of Teaching Salaries and Other Instructional Costs


Expenditure types:

Salaries and benefits of research faculty and laboratory assistants, research supplies, animal facilities, lab supplies and support


5% of undergraduate level teaching salaries generated

25% of graduate level teaching salaries generated

50% of doctoral level teaching salaries generated

Public Service

Expenditure types:

Governmental relations, public broadcasting, official functions, parent activities, news service, alumni affairs, etc


3% of teaching salaries

Facilities Maintenance & Operations

Expenditure types:

Utilities – electricity, water, sewer, gas, trash/garbage removal

Maintenance & operation – physical plant staff salaries and benefits, telecommunications, grounds maintenance, custodial care, and building maintenance (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, cabinet makers)

Calculations of Space Needs:

  • Academic Space

The needed square footage is determined using the 5-Factor Academic Space Prediction Model. Space needs are determined in five categories:

  • Teaching
  • Academic Offices
  • Library
  • Academic Support
  • Research

General Institutional Support - 50% of the Academic Space.

Auxiliary Space is excluded.

Calculation of Funding Needs:

Excess/Shortage Sq. Ft. = Total Sq. Ft. – Model Sq. Ft.

Funding Need = Excess/Shortage Sq. Ft. X $2.40/Sq. Ft. +

Needed Existing Sq. Ft. X $4.85/Sq. Ft.

Special Missions

Types of Special Missions:

Federal Land Grant Institutions

Traditional Minority Mission


Federal Land Grant Institution = 10% of Teaching Salaries

Traditional Minority Institution = 10% of FTE based Funding

Diseconomy of Scale

An institution receives additional funding for Other Instructional Costs and General Institutional Support if its student FTE Enrollment is less than 3,500.


FTE Below 3,500 Funds/FTE
1 - 150 $1,200
Next 150 $1,000
Next 200 $ 800
Next 250 $ 600
Next 250 $ 300
Next 200 $ 200

Total Funding Need


The total funds needed by the institution are represented by the sum of the recommendations for: Teaching Salaries, Other Instructional Costs, Library Costs, General Institutional Support, Research, Public Service, Facilities Maintenance and Operations, Special Missions, and Diseconomy of Scale.

Tuition and Mandatory Fee Income


= Undergraduate SSCH  X  $130

= Graduate SSCH   X    $190

= Doctoral SSCH    X   $230

Total = Sum of above calculations

Appropriation Need/Request


Appropriation = Total Funding Need  -  Tuition & Fee Income