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This paper examines the input-output relationship for private undergraduate education. The motivation for such a study stems from a long-standing concern within academe for a better understanding of the relationships between student quality, faculty effort, campus environment, and the end result of an "educated" person. Though precise and objective measures of educational output are difficult to formulate, we would argue that alumni achievement is an important and measurable output. Specifically, we focus on the number of baccalaureate alumni who went on to earn a Ph.D. But even with an acceptable output measure, research assessments of the educational process are not dealing with a production function in the classical supply-and-demand sense. For example, the purchaser of the product—the student—is also among the more important factor inputs. The implication is that the educational process is far more complicated than a simple, production-function rendering indicates. Consequently, this study formulates a three-equation simultaneous model of student quality, faculty quality and output. The study's objective is to identify the relative contribution of the many human and nonhuman resources commonly regarded as producing quality undergraduate education.

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