National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2012


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2012, Volume 13, Number 1, special issue on The Economy of Honors


Copyright 2012 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In “Costs and Benefits in the Economy of Honors,” Richard Badenhausen identifies several pressing issues regarding the economic status of honors in the current financial climate of higher education, including the role of faculty in addressing those issues. The crux of his argument regarding faculty seems to be that faculty are generally unaware of the budgetary issues involved in administering an honors program. For instance, he states that his work with the admissions office on the costs of recruitment strategies has given him a “much deeper appreciation of the economy of honors education even though this is not knowledge that many of my fellow faculty members seem to share.” As a non-administrative faculty member myself, I would argue that honors program directors should take the initiative in ensuring that honors faculty are informed about and invited to participate in discussions concerning the program’s financial status. By opening these lines of communication, honors directors can also become more intimately aware of the increasingly difficult professional decisions that faculty have to make as a result of the “new normal” economy. If funding is, as Badenhausen argues, “always sloshing around in the institutional coffers,” then honors directors should consider allocating some of these funds to enhance faculty knowledge about the economics of honors in the following ways.