ABC Insights® – Standard Activity Model (SAM)

ABC analyzes and organizes our member universities administrative labor expenses into a standardized and consistent model called our SAM or Standard Activity Model.

This “apples to apples” model allows for valuable insights into how a university compares at both the internal unit level (e.g. how does the law school invest in labor activities vs. the business school) and external peer level (e.g. how does my university compares in spending to a logical group of peer institution).

In addition, for the first time in the higher education industry, these data can be analyzed longitudinally by the following organizational classifications:

  • Centralized – units that serve the entire campus

  • Decentralized – typically academic units/schools

  • Shared Services – labor spending that serves more than one unit/school but not the entire campus

  • External Labor – outsourced labor spending

  • Marketing and Communication
  • Public Affairs
  • Alumni Relations
  • Fundraising
  • Prospect Management, Research and Analytics
  • Capital Planning and Management
  • Construction Services, Maintenance and Repair
  • Dining Services
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Grounds
  • Custodial Services
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation
  • Accounts Payable
  • Budget and Financial Planning
  • Financial Reporting
  • General Accounting
  • Payroll Processing
  • Procurement
  • Student Accounts
  • Executive Leadership
  • Departmental Support
  • Benefits
  • Classification and Compensation
  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Application Development
  • Education Technologies
  • Infrastructure and Operations
  • Security and Privacy
  • User Support
  • Pre-Award
  • Post-Award Research
  • Compliance
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Career Services
  • Diversity
  • Financial Aid
  • International Programs
  • Recreational Services
  • Registration
  • Residential Services
  • Engagement and Events (FY19+)
  • Student Success and Tutoring (FY19+)
  • Wellness (FY19+)

Additionally, these data can be analyzed for more effective comparison through the following normalizing factors:

  • FTEs – Full-Time Equivalents – an ABC method of calculation that provides more accuracy than IPEDS reporting

  • Operating Expenses

  • Total Labor Spend

  • Employees + Students (IPEDS)

  • Students (IPEDS Fall Headcount, IPEDS Fall FTE, IPEDS 12-Month Headcount)

The following analysis factors can be used to determine where our member universities might be under or over performing vs. their peers and strategic intent:

  • Research Expenses – useful when comparing Research Administration labor investment vs. Expenses

  • Square Feet Cleaned – useful when analyzing the costs associated with facilities maintenance and repair or custodial services

  • Acres Maintained – useful when analyzing grounds keeping and/or police and security spending

  • Development Funds Raised – useful when analyzing the costs associated with development activities