Cornell Higher Education Research Institute

Professor Ron Ehrenberg teaching a class


CHERI was established in the fall of 1998 to provide a vehicle for interdisciplinary research on higher education. Faculty and administrators affiliated with CHERI come from 5 different Cornell colleges and other academic institutions around the world. CHERI's current research interests include the implications of the growing dispersion of wealth across academic institutions, the growing costs and importance of science to universities, the financial challenges facing public higher education, the changing nature of the faculty, governance in academic institutions, improving PhD programs in the humanities and associated social sciences, improving persistence rates in STEM Field majors, and reducing inequality in access to higher education. Over the years, CHERI has received its core funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and has received supplementary support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the TIAA-CREF Institute. Effective August 1, 2016 CHERI is funded internally by ILR-Cornell University.


August 2019

A working paper by Gary Fethke has been added to our working paper library, "Achievably-Efficient Enrollments Using High Tuition-High Aid in Public Higher Education." CHERI WP183. (PDF, 366 KB)

May 2019

A revised version of the working paper by Todd R. Jones & Ronald G. Ehrenberg has been added to our working paper library, "Are High-Quality PhD Programs at Universities Associated with More Undergraduate Students Pursuing PhD Study?." (CHERI WP182) (PDF, 2 MB)

April 2018

A working paper by Todd R. Jones & Ronald G. Ehrenberg has been added to our working paper library, "Are High-Quality PhD Programs at Universities Associated with More Undergraduate Students Pursuing PhD Study?." (CHERI WP182) (PDF, 720 KB)

February 2018

A working paper by John P. Caskey has been added to our working paper library, "The Awkward Economics of Private Liberal Arts Colleges." CHERI WP181. (PDF, 1 MB)

December 2017

A working paper by Joyce B. Main, Sarah Prenovitz, & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, "In Pursuit of a Tenure-Track Faculty Position: Career Progression and Satisfaction of Humanities and Social Sciences Doctorates" has been added to our working papers. (CHERI WP180) (PDF, 315 KB)

A working paper by Gary Fethke, "Challenges Facing “Pay-What-You-Can-Afford” Tuitions at Public Universities" has been addded ( CHERI WP179 ) . (PDF, 352 KB)

July 2017

Two new working papers by Ronald G. Ehrenberg have been added ; "Nancy Zimpher: Perceptions from an “Unusual” SUNY Trustee"" ( CHERI WP177) (PDF, 37 KB) and  "Admissions, Financial Aid, and Development Policies." (CHERI WP178) (PDF, 159 KB)

September 2016

We have just added a new Working paper by Richard M. Romano, Rita J. Kirshstein, Mark D'Amico, and Willard Hom, "Adjusting College Cost Figures for Non-credit Enrollments." (CHERI WP176) (PDF, 819 KB)

July 2016

We have just added a new Working paper by Ben Ost a, Weixiang Pan a and Doug Webberb, "The Impact of Mass Layoffs on the Educational Investments of Working College Students." (CHERI WP175) (PDF, 235 KB)

June 2016

We have just added a new working paper by Todd R Jones and Ronald G. Ehrenberg,"Producing Humanities PhDs among BAs at Doctoral Institutions." (CHERI WP174) (PDF, 920 KB)

May 2016

We have just added two new working papers. "Estimating the Value of Higher Education Financial Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment" by Christian Belzil, Arnaud Maurel, and Modibo Sidibé (CHERI WP172) (PDF, 415 KB) and The Impact of Laptop Use in the College Classroom bu Richard W. Patterson and Robert M. Patterson (CHERI WP173). (PDF, 467 KB)

March 2016

We have just added a new working paper, "The Returns to College Persistence for Marginal Students: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from University Dismissal Policies" by Ben Ost, Weixiang Pan, and Doug Webber (CHERI WP171 (PDF, 994 KB)).

February 2016

"Increasing the Share of Female Faculty within Humanities Departments: Does the Gender of University Leaders Matter?" by Cassandra M. Benson, Todd R. Jones, Sarah J. Prenovitz, and Ronald G. Ehrenberg has just been added as Working Paper 170 (CHERI WP170 (PDF, 533 KB)).

December 2015

We have just added two new working papers: "Do Administrators' Disciplinary Backgrounds Influence Humanites Departments' Staffing Patterns?" by Todd Jones, Sarah Prenovitz, Cassandra Benson and Ronald Ehrenberg (CHERI WP168 (PDF, 146 KB)) and "Changing Faculty Employment at Four-Year Colleges and Universities in the United States" by Liang Zhang, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, and Xiangmin Liu (CHERI WP169 (PDF, 285 KB)).

November 2015

"The Effect of Institutional Expenditures on Employment Outcomes and Earnings" by Amanda Giffith and Kevin Rask has just been added as Working Paper 167 (CHERI WP167).

June 2015

Amanda Griffith, Ronald Ehrenberg and Gary Cohen have written CHERI's newest working paper, "Explaining Racial Differences in Post-College Aspirations: Evidence from the NLSF ", (CHERI WP166 (PDF, 256 KB)).

April 2015

Working Paper 165 (CHERI WP165 (PDF, 1 MB)) has just been added to to the Working Papers section of this site.  This working paper, authored by Richard Patterson, is titled: Can Behavioral Tools Improve Online Student Outcomes? Experimental Evidence froma Massive Open Online Course.

February 2015

We have just added two more working papers. Both papers are authored by Douglas Webber. "Risk-Sharing and Student Loan Policy: Consequences for Students and Institutions", (CHERI WP163 (PDF, 231 KB)) and "Are College Costs Worth It? How Individual Ability, Major, Choice, and Dept Affect Optimal Schooling Decisions" (CHERI WP164 (PDF, 389 KB)).

October 2014

I have just added two new CHERI Working Papers: "The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship's Effects on PhD Production at Non-UNCF Institutions: An Evaluation" (CHERI WP161 (PDF, 431 KB)) by Ronald Ehrenberg, Sarah Prenovitz, Gary Cohen and George Jakubson and  "University Endowment Growth: Assessing Policy Proposals" (CHERI WP162 (PDF, 382 KB)) by Ross Milton and Ronald Ehrenberg.

July 2014

Cheri Working Paper 160 (CHERI WP160 (PDF, 111 KB)), "Coauthors and Collaborations" by Ronald G. Ehrenberg, is now available.

February 2014

"What's the Future of Public Higher Education? A Review Essay on Public No More: A New Path to Excellence for America's Public Universities"  (CHERI WP 159 (PDF, 50 KB)) by Ronald Ehrenberg is our newest  Working Paper.

October 2013

I have just added another working by Kevin Kniffin and Andrew Hanks.  This paper is titled: "Boundary Spanning in Academia: Antecedents and Near-Term Consequences of Academic Entrepreneurialism."  (CHERI WP 158 (PDF, 1 MB)).

"Revisiting Gladwell's Hockey Players: Influence of Relative Age Effects Upon Earning the PhD" by Kevin Kniffin and Andrew Hanks is our most recent Working Paper, (CHERI WP 157 (PDF, 1 MB)).

We have just added another paper from Professor Monks as Working Paper (CHERI WP 156 (PDF, 104 KB)): "Institutional Variation in Enrollment of Low-Income Students: The Role of Prices, Financial Aid Policies and Selectivity".

September 2013

James Monks, from the Department of Economics from the University of Richmond, has contributed the most recent CHERI Working Paper: "Revenue Shares and Monopsonistic Behavior in Intercollegiate Athletics"  (CHERI WP 155 (PDF, 60 KB)).

August 2013

"The Other Debt Crisis" by Ronald Ehrenberg and Ross Milton has just been added to the site as Working Paper (CHERI WP 154 (PDF, 39 KB)).

July 2013

Ross Milton and Ronald Ehrenberg have worked together to author CHERI's newest working paper:  "Decomposing the Dispersion of Higher Education Endowments", (CHERI WP 153 (PDF, 1 MB)).

June 2013

"The Lifetime Earnings Premia of Different Majors: Correcting for Selection Based on Cognitive and Noncognitive, and Unobserved Factors" by Douglas Webber.  (CHERI WP 152 (PDF, 339 KB)).

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