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Labor Cost Benchmarking

Proactive Fiscal Stewardship

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Kent State University

Kent State University (KSU), founded in 1910, has become an R2 public research university with seven regional campuses, three national and international facilities, and more than 35,000 students.

Kent State has been on a rise for more than a decade, with record enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. However, the global pandemic in 2020 puts the higher education industry at risk. Despite concerns across the higher education sector, KSU has remained in a position of strength.

"We’ve achieved a cumulative $75 million in combined revenue enhancements, cost reductions, and cost avoidance for the period of 2015 through 2019 while shifting significant resources away from administrative and overhead functions directly to student success."
Mark Polatajko
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

How KSU Uses the Data


Using Data Analytics to Beat the Odds

The global pandemic puts the higher education industry at a high risk with reports of a suspected 5-15% negative revenue pact in the coming fiscal year. To support their goals during economic uncertainty, KSU was able to target their efforts to reduce administrative spending and reinvest in student success. 


KSU ROI Framework in Action

KSU needed insights to improve efficiency and boost institutional effectiveness. A comprehensive ROI framework with more than 50 data points to help identify opportunities to reinvest in student success was a pivotal opportunity for KSU to increase investments in mission-critical areas that emphasize the university’s core mission of student access, completion, and outcomes.


The Value of an Effective Institution

While cost analysis is a vital part of institutional growth, the other half of the effectiveness equation is ensuring that spending is targeted where it will have the most impact. Efficient administrative spending means reallocation of funds toward investments in student, staff, and faculty growth. With our benchmarking data, KSU was able to reallocate funding based on where they might be under or over-funded to make data-informed budgetary realignment decisions.

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The Path to Mission and Data-Driven Success

While the country undergoes a global recession and an ongoing public health crisis, KSU remains financially viable despite these unprecedented challenges. By combining their commitment to high-quality education with data analytics, they have seen significant gains in not only ROI but in student success as well.

Learn More About the Results

Read the case study to learn more about how KSU’s achieved success by partnering with the HelioCampus Benchmarking Consortium.

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