eAIR Newsletter October 2012

OCTOBER 2012 NEWSLETTER, VOL. 32, ISSUE 10 | A SERVICE OF AIR SINCE 1987
Delta Cost Project: 20% of Higher Education Spending Results from Attrition

Many institutional research offices track attrition and engage in enrollment modeling. Their work informs conversations among campus decision makers about whether retention-enhancement programs provide positive returns on investment. A recent report by the Delta Cost Project highlights the findings from a study of college spending and attrition. Of particular interest to IR professionals is the methodology offered to assign "institutional production costs to attrition" and related benchmarks. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
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BOARD CORNER
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Nominations Process Important to Future of AIR

By Jennifer Brown
AIR Immediate Past President and Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee


There is less than a month until the deadline to submit nominations for the AIR Board of Directors, and I sincerely hope that you are considering nominating yourself or one of your colleagues. My own service has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my career. In part, that is because of the tremendous education board members receive in regard to policy governance, and in part, because of the privilege I've had to work with exceptional colleagues and contribute to the field of institutional research.

Policy governance has dramatically changed the work of the Board; we have gone from being the AIR labor force to being the governors of the association. MORE
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CHANGING SCENE
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Who's on the Move?

New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
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News and Notes 
AACC Latest Brief Now Available
 
ACRL Awarded Second IMLS Grant
 
Assuring Quality Self-Assessment Tool
 
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RESOURCE REVIEW
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Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century
 
By Christopher P. Loss (Princeton University Press, 2012)
 
Reviewed by Gary Lowe
 
 
 
This book examines the role of higher education in American politics from World War I to the present. The author argues that political relationships built in the early 20th century resulted in universities serving as proxies for implementing federal policies to a nation distrustful of big government. Because colleges were local or regional institutions rather than extensions of the federal government, their roles expanded to include intermediary agency capacities. As a result, the educational missions of colleges are entwined with federal goals of producing better citizens for the democracy. MORE
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SPECIAL FEATURES
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Getting to Know Natalie Snow

Like many AIR members, Natalie Snow "fell" into a career in institutional research by "being in the right place at the right time." It's a profession that makes her very happy, and as Institutional Research Manager at Kutztown University, she looks forward to going to work every day. "I love patterns, trends, and correlations. In Fall 2010, the first-time, full-time freshmen cohort headcount was 2010…it just about made my lifetime." Her zest for IR stems primarily from the education component of her work; she particularly enjoys helping her colleagues on campus understand, use, and trust data. MORE

PROFESSIONAL FILE
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Conducting Focus Groups with College Students: Strategies to Ensure Success

Institutional researchers are often asked to conduct focus groups as an efficient way to address an institutional concern or problem. Typically, IR professionals depend on external consultants and specialists to conduct these group interviews for them; however, due to recent resource constraints (staffing, budgets), they are increasingly assuming responsibility for conducting the focus group sessions themselves. MORE


 
 
 

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SPECIAL FEATURES
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Getting to Know Laura Saunders

As the Interim President of Bellevue College (Washington), Laura Saunders relies on her background in institutional research to interpret data, inform decision-making, and articulate key messages to stakeholders. She encourages colleagues at all levels of the higher education enterprise to maintain broad perspectives and to support and motivate each other. With a focus on teamwork, she emphasizes "you're only as good as the people working with you, so help them improve and get ahead." When not working, President Saunders enjoys the fun and relaxation of quilting, and notes that "quilting patterns are not unlike research."  MORE

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IR IN THE KNOW
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The Latest Issues in Higher Education

IR in the Know keeps you up to date on current and emerging issues related to higher education data collection, analyses, and reporting with a brief summary of topics and links to more detailed information. The Policy Watch section alerts readers to developing policy news and topics that may warrant attention over the next few months. MORE
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TECH TIPS
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Heat Maps in Excel 2010

This tech tip was provided by John Leonard, Associate Dean of Administration and Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology-main campus.

This tech tip introduces a technique for helping explore patterns in worksheets – heat maps. The conditional formatting feature in Excel 2010 can be used to create heat maps on worksheets without the need for separate external programs or other software programs. MORE
 
 
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JOURNAL NEWS
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The Journal of Higher Education

AIR members receive many publications benefits, such as a 33% discount off the subscription price for The Journal of Higher Education (JHE). Founded in 1930 and published by The Ohio Press, JHE is one of the leading journals in higher education. A 2013 subscription entitles members to six issues at the discounted rate of $51.00 for US residents. The publisher is extending a special offer to AIR members who are new to JHE in 2013. MORE
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OTHER EVENTS
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Announcements for conferences, meetings, institutes, symposiums, and other events of interest. See the LISTINGS.
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JOBS
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There are 145 Jobs Listed on AIR's Job Board. Search Now!
 
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THANK YOU
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Special Thanks to AIR Members

Our members are not only incredibly helpful, they are a pleasure to work with. Here are some special thanks to those who have gone beyond the call of duty for our association.
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