Dr. John J. Cheslock

Dr. John J. Cheslock
Phone: 8148659739
Office Address:
406 Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Associate Professor of Education (Higher Education)
Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education


Education Policy Studies


Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE)


Higher Education


Dr. John J. Cheslock is director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education and associate professor in the Education Policies Studies department at the Pennsylvania State University.  He also serves as director of the Academic Leadership Academy. Dr. Cheslock obtained his Ph.D. in Labor Economics from Cornell University, where he served as a research assistant for Ron Ehrenberg at the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI). After graduation, he was on the faculty of the University of Arizona for eight years.  He currently serves as a consulting editor for Research in Higher Education and on the editorial boards of the Review of Higher Education and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Dr. Cheslock’s research examines the financial sustainability challenges facing many colleges and universities through analysis of specific revenue sources, underlying cost structures, and the economics associated with specific activities.  Most of his research into institutional revenues focuses on net tuition revenue through studies of institutional aid policies and enrollment growth initiatives while expenditure-focused studies primarily examine faculty salaries and instructional productivity.  When investigating specific activities within higher education, he primarily analyzes two areas: online education and intercollegiate athletics.  His research employs quantitative methods and data drawn from either national surveys or databases maintained by higher education institutions.

Dr. Cheslock employs the insights generated from his research in his administrative duties.  After serving as a unit head in an interim role during his last year at Arizona, he has served in a variety of administrative roles at Penn State.  In his current work as CSHE director, he seeks to guide and promote CSHE research while connecting that work to practice at Penn State and other higher education institutions.  In addition, he promotes innovative approaches to the provision of online education and blended professional development.

Courses Taught

HI ED 552: Administration and Organization in Higher Education

HI ED 801: Foundations & Fundamentals of Institutional Research

HI ED 810: Planning and Resource Management

HI ED 830: Designing Institutional Research Studies

Representative Publications

Cheslock, J., Hughes, R., Frick-Cardelle, R. & Heller, D. (in press). Filling the Gap: The Use of Intentional and Incidental Need-Meeting Aid. Review of Higher Education.

Cheslock, J., Ortagus, J., Umbricht, M., & Wymore, J. (2016). The Costs of Producing Higher Education: An Exploration of Theory, Evidence, and Institutional Policy. In J. Smart (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Volume 31. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Cheslock, J., & Callie, T. (2015). Changing Salary Structure and Faculty Composition within Business Schools: Differences Across Sectors and State Funding Levels. Economics of Education Review, 49, 42-54.

Cheslock, J. & Knight, D. (2015). Diverging Revenues, Cascading Expenditures, and Cascading Revenues: The Unbalanced and Growing Financial Strain of Intercollegiate Athletics on Universities and their Students. Journal of Higher Education, 86(3), 417-447.

Cheslock, J., Hughes, R. & Umbricht, M. (2014). The Opportunities, Strategies, and Challenges Associated with the Use of Operations-Oriented Data to Support Decision-Making Within Universities. In J. Lane (Ed.) Building a Smarter University: Big Data, Innovation, and Ingenuity. SUNY Critical Issues in Higher Education Series, Volume 3.  Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.