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The University As Educational Lab

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.542.1 - 4.542.6

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Paper Authors

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Sadikin Djumin

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James J. Mager

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Jane M. Fraser

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3257

The University as Educational Lab

Jane M. Fraser, Sadikin Djumin, James J. Mager University of Southern Colorado/Ohio State University


We report on a project that integrated teaching (supervision of a master’s student), research (extending the work on Markov chain forecasts of student enrollment), and service (improvement of the university’s methods for forecasting enrollment). We give recommendations on how to generate such projects and how to make such projects work well.

1. Introduction

Faculty members have three sets of obligations corresponding to the three areas on which they are evaluated: teaching, research, and service. Demands on time of faculty members usually mean that time spent on one of the three areas is time not spent on the others. We offer here the obvious suggestion that projects that can support more than one area are particularly desirable; indeed, a project that can support all three areas can help a faculty member tremendously.

Industrial engineering faculty members bring skills that can help make the operation of any human system more efficient and more effective. Industrial engineering faculty have a special opportunity, perhaps even an obligation, for service to their university. We offer here the obvious suggestion that industrial engineering skills can be fruitfully applied to the many problems that face our colleges and universities.

Finally, writing a master’s thesis is an intense amount of work for a graduate student, often involving problems of finding a good topic, finding data, performing the work, and writing up the results. We offer here the obvious suggestion that a real project, with a client who cares about and will help on the project and with pay for the student, can help a student tremendously in completing a worthwhile master’s thesis.

We report here on a project that combined those three suggestions: • We addressed a problem of significance to Ohio State University and developed a solution that will be of ongoing help. • A graduate student was employed while working on the project, • The graduate student wrote up the project as his master’s thesis. • We made a small, but significant, contribution to research in higher education. • The work will result (we plan) in a publication in a journal in higher education.

In this paper we present information on what was involved in doing the project, the mathematical model that we used, comments on what went well – and what didn’t, and our recommendations to others attempting to do such projects.

Djumin, S., & Mager, J. J., & Fraser, J. M. (1999, June), The University As Educational Lab Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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