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A Return on Investment Force Multiplier of an Entrepreneurial Administrative Organization for Professional Studies

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

The Intersection of Higher Ed and Industry

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer PMP, SPHR Purdue University - West Lafayette

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Dr. Mitchell L. Springer, PMP, SPHR

Dr. Springer currently serves as the Executive Director for Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He has over 35 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized, has contributed to scholarship more than 150 articles, presentations, books and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions; most recently he was awarded the Purdue University, College of Technology, Equity, Inclusion and Advocacy Award.

Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR & SHRM-SCP), in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and, in civil and domestic mediation. He is a State of Indiana Registered domestic mediator.

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Mark T. Schuver Purdue University - West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is responsible for the administration/operations of the Center with Program Management oversight of the Rolls-Royce Master of Science Degree, the Construction Management Master of Science Degree and Product Lifecycle Management Certificate Programs for working professionals. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Mark was employed by Caterpillar, Inc for 35 years with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College, a BS in Business Administration and MS in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies Divisions of ASEE. Mark is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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A Return on Investment Force Multiplier of an Entrepreneurial Administrative Organization for Professional Studies


Scaling a maturing fee-based administrative organization, delivering professional programs to working professional adult learners, to maximize return on investment, required a fully aligned and synchronized, and, naturally derived and time-phased three-pronged approach: (1) being open to multiple mediums of increasing band-width delivery, (2) creatively visualizing, and performing a detailed job analysis supporting backfill at the lowest levels, and (3) finding synergistic cross-university collaborations for efficiency gains and cost containment.

Over a seventeen year period, mediums of delivery evolved to support an ever increasing breadth of potential professional working adult learner participants. Dating back to 1998, the medium of delivery originated as a weekend program, evolving through four natural distance delivery derivations. With mediums of distance delivery as the foundation, there evolved a natural derivation for effectively compensating participating faculty and their academic departments. Corporate budget constraints coupled with continually evolving market forces, required a competitive posture supporting continued expansion, while controlling cost growth. This dual approach of increasing gross revenue and student participation, while simultaneously controlling cost growth formed the premise and requirement for strategically aligned collaborations.

This paper will examine a seventeen year history of distance delivery mediums and their corresponding models for faculty and academic department compensation models. In addition, this paper will reflect the cost savings from an exhaustively performed and executed detailed job analysis of members of a professional organization serving the needs of professional working adult learners. Finally, this paper will discuss the synergistic results to-date of the single largest distance learning cross-college collaboration in the history of this tier 1 research university.

Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2016, June), A Return on Investment Force Multiplier of an Entrepreneurial Administrative Organization for Professional Studies Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26426

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