Board Corner

Published November 10, 2014

Voice of the Members: You Were Heard

During the summer, members were asked for comments regarding proposed changes to the AIR Bylaws. While most comments supported the suggested editorial change (Section 4), many members raised concerns about removing the specific membership categories from the Bylaws (Section 5). These concerns included a lack of consistency and stability in categories from year to year as well as transparency. Others mentioned the perception of the diminished roles of membership in the Association. Many pointed out that the Board already has the flexibility to add membership categories.
 
Your voice was heard! The Board is engaging in additional debate on the merits of proposed changes and taking your thoughts into consideration. Thank you for taking the time to provide meaningful and actionable comments. According to AIR Governance Policies, the Board creates the link between the membership and Association operations. Please do not wait for a mid-term election to let us know how we are doing!
 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
 
Gayle Fink
2014-2015 AIR President

 

wordcloud11.jpg

Word cloud comments from Proposal to Change Bylaws Section 5 - Membership Categories

 

 

 November 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 2
 
Julie posted on 11/13/2014 5:03 PM
After spending several days with great colleagues at the AIR office thinking about the future of IR, reviewing Forum proposals over the weekend, and submitting a workshop proposal with a colleague this week, I am amazed that anyone could perceive the roles of membership in the Association as having been diminished! And how is a set of membership categories related to a diminished role - if there is some way in which being in a particular membership category enables one to have a greater role, then I'm even more in favor of doing removing specific membership categories from the bylaws.
Jennifer posted on 11/14/2014 7:40 AM
Each month I look at the thank you's from the AIR Executive Office to members and see a variety of names and work undertaken. Also, I regularly receive invitations to participate in various ways and am able to easily assess the time expectations and scope of work. The fact that I am among the 'mature' association members and don't recognize more than half the names I see in the thank you's suggests to me that membership involvement is widespread and I find this very encouraging indeed!
And I too am a bit puzzled as to the mechanism by which membership categories have a causal impact on membership involvement.

 

Published October 14, 2014

Just Say Yes!

It all began with a phone call from Michelle Hall. I had received the nomination letter stating that someone thought enough of my background to nominate me for a position on the AIR Board. I politely declined because really, I had a new position at Georgia Tech, an active family, and a hundred other reasons why I couldn’t say yes at that point in time.  

Then I thought about it again and came to the conclusion that if not now, then when? Being called to serve your profession is an honor, and the time is now! Lending your expertise to AIR as either a member of the Board of Directors or the Nominations and Elections Committee is a great way to contribute to the field of institutional research as well as to your professional Association.  

Over the past several years, it has been a great privilege for me to work with a wonderful group of colleagues to envision the future of higher education and how best the Association can support the success of IR professionals everywhere. As an international organization, AIR has enabled me to expand my professional network beyond any boundaries, and I fully endorse the experience as one of the most rewarding in my life.  

I wholeheartedly encourage you to nominate a colleague or yourself for a leadership position in AIR. Nominations are being accepted for the following:  

  • Vice-President (one position)

  • At-Large Members of the Board (three positions)

  • Nominations and Elections Committee Members (three positions) 

All AIR members may be nominated for leadership positions, except graduate students and members currently serving on the AIR Board of Directors or Nominations and Elections Committee. 

The Nominations and Elections Committee will develop a slate of candidates from the nominations submitted, which will be presented to members in the general election in January 2015. 

Visit the AIR website for more information about the AIR Nominations and Elections process as well as the talents and attributes we are seeking in potential nominees. The deadline to submit nominations is November 5, 2014, 11:59 EST.

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2014-2015 Immediate Past President and
Nominations and Elections Chair

 

 October 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published September 14, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Direction of the Association 

During the August AIR Board of Directors meeting, we unanimously approved a new Ends Policy statement for the Association: 

AIR exists so that higher education institutions effectively use institutional research—data, information, and analysis for decision support—in a rapidly changing environment. This must be done within AIR’s available resources. 

  • Institutional researchers have knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties and functions of institutional research, including: methods and tools; internal institutional effectiveness; external accountability; professional and interpersonal skills; and research and scholarship.

  • Higher education leaders view institutional research as essential.

The final Ends statement is slightly different than earlier versions the AIR Board shared with members. The key difference is that we included the words “institutional research” in the broad statement that forms the base of the pyramid representing the difference AIR intends to make. The changes in the Ends statement are more than “wordsmithing.” The changes are intended to broaden the focus of the Association. We chose to use a small “i” and a small “r,” rather than capital letters to emphasize that we are interested in everyone who performs research at colleges and universities, not just staff in IR offices. Our End is to have higher education institutions effectively use the research conducted by admissions, financial aid, student affairs, and assessment offices, as well as the IR office.

As the Association moves forward, the executive office and the AIR Board will interpret and assess our progress in meeting our Ends. I believe AIR members have an important role to play as well. AIR members are on the front line in efforts to promote effective research throughout your institutions. Reach out to your colleagues in other areas of your institutions, share your expertise with them, and also learn from them. By working together, we can achieve the End of colleges and universities effectively using institutional research for decision support, improvement, and accountability.

Gary R. Pike
2014-2015 AIR Vice President

 

 September 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published August 12, 2014

One Door Closes, Another Opens

 

 

Earlier this summer, Dr. Hansel Burley announced his resignation from the AIR Board of Directors. In his two years of service on the Board, Hansel has encouraged deep thought and presented a variety of options to issues facing the Board. His thoughtful philosophy on governance, his sense of humor, and his tremendous passion for research and scholarship are traits that his fellow Board members have come to appreciate.  

Prior to the AIR Board, Hansel served the profession as past president of the Traditionally Black College and University (TBCU) special interest group, a presenter at multiple AIR Forums, a member of the AIR Professional Development Services Committee, and an active member of TAIR and SAIR. Hansel is a Professor of Educational Psychology at Texas Tech University (TTU), and in 2012 was the editor for Cases on Institutional Research Systems.

Please join me in thanking Hansel for his commitment to the institutional research profession, AIR, and, especially, the Board. Hansel, you will be missed, but I know you are only a phone call or email away.

As one door closes, another one opens – or in this case, re-opens. I am pleased to announce that Alice Simpkins will be completing Hansel’s term on the Board. Alice served on the Board from 2012 to 2014 and has recently retired from Paine College. The Board appreciates her taking time out of retirement to see us through the next 10 months. Alice’s knowledge and experience are critical to the Board’s progress and we look forward to having her “back on board.”

Over the past two months, the Board encouraged your feedback on the new Ends statement. Thank you for your insights. The Board will be considering your thoughts and suggestions when we meet later this month. We will also begin brainstorming about the future of institutional research and how it will impact AIR. Keep an eye on the Board Corner for updates, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Gayle Fink
2014-2015 AIR President

 

 August 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published July 15, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer? Now That’s Just Crazy!

bc_eair July 2014.PNGI recently had lunch with a friend in the accounting profession. She was lamenting the crazy hours and endless days associated with closing out the fiscal year. 

This is always a hectic time for anyone in the finance realm of higher education, and most look forward to June 35 (as they call it), when the previous fiscal year is put to rest and the new fiscal year begins. I could only smile as the memories of a slower time in the summer came flooding back and I realized that I have no idea what downtime is anymore. Sure, there is the requisite vacation, but re-entry after a blissful week at the beach will usually find us furiously making up the 40 hours we missed. There is no such thing as a slow time in academia anymore, and I’m positive you can relate.  

Your AIR Board is busy this summer, too. We met in person at the Forum and have had two teleconferences since then to set the agenda for the coming year. The Board will gather next month in Indianapolis to hammer out the details.  

With a focus on the Ends and ensuring that the Board governs with excellence, we are looking forward to discussions about the future of institutional research and the profession. The impact of analytics, skills needed for the IR professional, and changes in the culture of IR are on docket, as well as the processes for AIR awards and publications.

In the fall, we will initiate a vote on changes to AIR’s bylaws that came about as a result of the great work of the Board’s Policy Review Working Group. These changes will better align the bylaws with our Governance Policies. Watch this space (and your inbox) in the coming months for more information.

If you can’t catch the “lazy days of summer” vibe, know that you are not alone, but also know that there’s a sunbeam outside of your office that might just be a nearly suitable substitute. Go enjoy it! 

By the way... If you haven't done so yet, check out this link and take a short survey regarding AIR’s Ends statement. Your input is very important to us.

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2014-2015 Immediate Past President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 July 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

  

Published June 16, 2014  

2014-2015 Board Ready to Go!

BOD062014.pngI’d like to begin my first Board Corner with a huge shout out to the AIR Executive Office staff, exhibitors and sponsors, presenters, and the many volunteers who made the 2014 Forum such an incredible success. This year’s Forum provided IR professionals with a variety of professional development opportunities and provided ample venues to share, network, learn, inspire, and achieve. My thanks to all of you, the over 2,000 members who made the journey to support AIR.

The 2014-2015 Board begins its year by setting new goals (or “Ends”) for our Association. Once these goals are set, the AIR Executive Office is responsible for determining how to make these goals actionable. It is then the responsibility of the Board of Directors to monitor that the goals are being achieved through a series of reports throughout the year.

Below is the draft goal statement developed from historical member feedback. Please review it and then click on the Provide Feedback link to let us know if we are reflecting your vision of AIR and the value of AIR to institutional research and the higher education community.

AIR exists so that higher education institutions effectively use data, information, and analysis for decision support in a rapidly changing environment. This must be done within AIR’s available resources.

  • Institutional researchers have knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties and functions of institutional research, including: methods and tools; internal institutional effectiveness; external accountability; professional and interpersonal skills; and research and scholarship.
     
  • Higher education leaders view institutional research as essential.

Provide Feedback

On behalf of the Board, I look forward to an active and productive year. Feel free to contact me or any Board member with your thoughts on AIR.

Happy summer, eAIR readers!  

Gayle Fink
2014-2015 AIR President

 

 June 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Jennifer posted on 6/19/2014 1:27 PM
Excellent shout out, Gayle! The Orlando Forum was terrific. And many thanks to all those who uploaded their session material so I did not have to feel so bad about picking one session and having to miss many others!
 

 Published May 13, 2014

 

 One Great Adventure

BOD052014.jpgHave you planned your trip to the Forum in Orlando yet? The Forum is just over two weeks away. This is an exciting time for the members of AIR. Whether this is your first Forum or your 40th, there’s something very special about gathering a group of 2,000 people together who understand what you do and want to help you get better at doing it. We don’t always see the makings of the Forum, but trust me, there is a lot of work being done by the Executive Office to make it a memorable and meaningful experience for all of us. CEO Randy Swing and his staff are the epitome of competence, efficiency, and professionalism. If you see any of them while you’re at the Forum, give them a big “Thank You!”

Speaking of “Thank You,” this is my last Board Corner as Board president. It seems like just yesterday we were in Long Beach and I was taking up the gavel for the first time with AIR. Now, I sit here and think how quickly time flies. This year would not have been the adventure it was without my colleagues on the AIR Board of Directors. I owe a debt of gratitude (that I will spend a lifetime paying) to Julie Carpenter-Hubin, Gayle Fink, Hansel Burley, Marne Einarson, Martha Gray, Heather Kelly, Dawn Kenney, Ellen Peters, Mauricio Saavedra, Alice Simpkins, and Elizabeth Stanley. This group works tirelessly on behalf of AIR and its members, and we are fortunate that they’ve answered the call to lead. Gayle Fink will pick up the torch next and lead us to even greater heights.

Finally, as you think about the future of institutional research as a profession, please know that the Association for Institutional Research is here for you. AIR exists so that higher education effectively uses data, information, and analysis for decision support in a rapidly changing environment. We want to ensure that you have what you need to practice institutional research and to ensure that the profession remains relevant and essential. What better place to find that than your Association for Institutional Research. Thank you for allowing me to serve you!

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2013-2014 President

 

 May 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Randy posted on 5/15/2014 3:34 PM
Sandi,

You may (or may not) have written your last Board Corner, but it isn't over yet! The year of service to AIR as president is a huge gift and it is also just the warm up act for your year as Immediate Past President. To remind members, the wisdom, skills, and knowledge honed in the presidential year is the foundation for one additional year of Board service as Immediate Past President. Let me thank you for your service over many years, your gift of leadership this past year, and acknowledge how lucky AIR is to have you as a senior statesperson for another year and beyond.

Randy

 

Published April 10, 2014         

 

Let's Do This!

BODApr2014.pngHappy spring from the AIR Board! I’ve been inspired by Home Depot’s latest round of commercials that have everything to do with turning a drab backyard into a beautiful spring garden. When I hear the voice say, “Let’s do this,” I’m ready to get to work.

In last month’s Board Corner, I wrote about the Board’s meeting in Atlanta. I’m happy to report that the Board, as usual, had the “Let’s do this” approach. You will soon be seeing the results of our discussion around the Ends. First of all though, I need to give a shout-out! In addition to my husband and my editor, four other people read last month’s Board corner. Bill, Jennifer, Gerry, and Kimberly….thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! We value your feedback and I hope that you’ll be pleased with the final result of the Board’s Ends discussion.

Secondly, our work on the Ends stretched out over two days in which the conversations were inquisitive, lively, and enlightening. At the conclusion of the two-day marathon, we began crafting a statement on the Ends that acknowledges AIR’s role in decision support and our desire to ensure that you have the knowledge and skills needed to navigate that role on your campus and beyond. We understand that practitioners require knowledge about methods and tools as well as professional and interpersonal skills. The duties and functions of institutional research include effectiveness, accountability, and research and scholarship. Leaders in higher education, whether they are presidents, provosts, agency heads, or foundation boards, should view institutional research as essential - and AIR will play a role in ensuring that we can do this.  

Finally, I’ve had the great fortune to work with, and for, some really wonderful people over my career. One of them was my provost here at Georgia Tech who used to routinely advise our team that we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks because there are very few things that we do that can’t be undone. That advice has worked very well for us over the years, and, in this case, I think it’s appropriate to explain a Board action last month that changes the way AIR handles the Best Paper Award.

In an effort to encourage more people to submit and present their scholarly work at AIR’s annual Forum, the Board voted to allow all papers accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal to be named a 2014 Charles F. Elton Best Paper. Management of the award was delegated to the AIR Executive Office, which will appoint an award committee comprised of AIR members who have final authority over the award. Our goal is to honor our members’ publishable papers and to highlight that the scholarship of institutional research is featured in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals from student affairs to engineering education to statistics.

This change may not have the desired effect, so please know that we can always go back and look at this through a different lens. However, if we’re right, we should see more people stepping up to the plate saying, “I’m ready for my turn!” As the new generation of practitioners comes along, we hope this will encourage them to further the profession in a way that honors the faculty and veteran members who built this foundation. It’s a risk, yes, but we think the reward will be worth it.

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2013-2014 President
 

 

 April 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Jennifer posted on 4/10/2014 3:18 PM
Thanks for the update, Sandy. Great idea for the 2014 Charles F. Elton Best Paper. I look forward to seeing the results.

 

Published March 12, 2014

Time for a Check-Up

Greetings from the AIR Board! As I write this Board Corner, your AIR Board of Directors is preparing to meet in Atlanta where I’m hoping that my colleagues will be treated to the beauty of an early spring. So, let’s review. AIR exists to provide current and relevant resources for institutional research, sufficient to justify the expenditure of available revenues.

In order of priority:

  1. AIR members have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties and functions of institutional research.

  2. AIR members have tools that simplify and streamline IR reporting and/or office management processes.

  3. AIR members have knowledge about the profession of institutional research.

  4. Non-AIR members have the knowledge and skills necessary to produce high quality higher education data and to use such data appropriately and effectively. Resources for the accomplishment of Ends for non-members will not be used to the detriment of meeting the Ends for AIR members.

The statement above represents the Ends as stated in our Governance Policies. During this Board meeting, we’ll spend a good bit of our time studying the Ends of the Association and ensuring that we are getting this right. We also rely on you, our members, to provide us with feedback. We call this gathering the voice of the members. Many of our members take full advantage of this by letting Board members know individually when things are going well and when things aren’t. Spending much time on the Ends is no small feat, but we want to set things up solidly for our newest Board members who take office after the Business Meeting on Wednesday afternoon at the annual Forum in Orlando.

Speaking of the newest Board members, please make sure that you are aware of the outcomes of the election. Visit the elections section of the AIR website to see your new representatives on the Board. All of our members who ran for office deserve our gratitude for their willingness to step up to the plate. We’re very proud of all of them!

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2013-2014 President

 

 March 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 4
 
Bill posted on 3/13/2014 12:13 PM
These are absolutely the right things for the Board to be considering. As you do so, I strongly ask you to consider what Terenzini would term contextual issues and what I would call leadership issues in addition to technical-analytical knowledge and skills. Many of us who have been in the business and in AIR for a long time are perceiving less AIR interest in non-technical-analytical knowledge and skils in recent years; this does not serve the profession well.

Bill Knight
Jennifer posted on 3/13/2014 12:24 PM
I am glad to hear that the Board is going to spend some serious time on the evaluation of the Ends. These are, after all, the directives to the AIR CEO from the Board (representing the membership), that determine what AIR does. It is in this context that I wonder if item B is one that the Association can provide for members, if it means that the AIR CEO is to develop and provide the technological tools for reporting. The landscape is changing so rapidly for us and 'big data' requires so much $ investment from our institutions, that what seemed possible 3 years ago, might not be possible now for the Association to accomplish. This may mean a reinterpretation or closer definition of what the End includes, or it may be an End that we should no longer include?
Enjoy Spring in Atlanta!
Gerry posted on 3/14/2014 9:38 AM
i think these are appropriate - but not mutually exclusive. They are reinforced by Terenzini's recent article in RIHE ( Res High Educ (2013) 54:137–148). I do think the next step is to focus on the processes that facilitate these goals. This is often referred to as "Double Loop Learning) and focuses on sustainable processes that dynamically increase the vitality and knowledge of communities of practice. I also think that this should lead to a discussion of the value added by high-touch learning opportunities as well as the high-tech. Many professions are including focused short 3-4 day focused learning activities similar to our institutes and i think this topic should be revisited. Regional learning clusters give A-C and if they are focused on topics that bridge our function to the other business areas of our institutions - like assessment, planning, financial management, etc. they also can accomplish (D). Look at how Trudy Banta at IUPUI has built a tremendous community of practice connecting IR with Learning Outcome Assessment. EDUCAUSE is another example. In their case they stress leadership - much as we did with out Foundations II which focused on Goal B. Perhaps the Board can create a working group to identify best topics and we can use regional learning centers (working with our regional associations?) to build professional knowledge at the foundation and advanced levels and to build professional networks that reinforce the social networking facilitated by technology.
Thanks again for asking and best wishes to the Board.
Kimberly posted on 3/26/2014 10:53 AM
I would like to add my agreement with the other comments....to summarize, it sounds like we are recognizing that some of the "value added" that many of us took advantage of as part of our participation in AIR seems to have gone away...specifically, the provision of high quality timely professional development opportunities. These can and should be offered using a variety of methodologies and can and should consider the vast types of skills and qualities that will most help our members...both new and seasoned professionals...I would also suggest we look at some of the new tasks and responsibilities many of us are now facing - such as an increasing emphasis on institutional effectiveness, strategic planning, and other leadership roles. Best wishes to our Board as you contemplate and lead us into our future !!!
 

Published February 12, 2014

Members Rock the Vote

rockvote.jpg
If you’re a fan of the game show “Jeopardy,” you are no doubt familiar with the common category “Before and After.” Answers such as “Nursery rhyme waterspout crawler who’s a Marvel crime fighter” will prompt questions like “Who is Spiderman?” Fair warning: The title of this month’s Board Corner is a little bit like that Jeopardy category. 
 

Let’s start with the answer: “Members of the Association for Institutional Research who were selected for the Postsecondary Institution Rating System (PIRS) Symposium panel slate of candidates.”  Naturally, the question is “What is ‘you rock the vote’?” 

Starting with the words “You rock,” I never cease to be amazed at the accomplishments of our colleagues. This was no more evident than in Washington, D.C., on February 6 when the following AIR members were selected to present at the PIRS technical symposium:  Braden Hosch, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Former AIR Board member Christine Keller, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Don Hossler, Indiana University;  Hans L’Orange, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association; John Pryor, Gallup; Patrick Perry, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office; Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University; Robert Morse, U.S. News & World Report; Russell Poulin, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies; and Tod Massa, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. 

Of the 19 people selected for presentations, 10 are (or are about to become) AIR members. What a great testimony to the qualifications of our members! Their expertise shows that AIR members are (and will always be) in great demand. Well done! 

Now for the last three words of the answer, “rock the vote.” As AIR elections are currently underway, we can now see the results of the work of Immediate Past President Julie Carpenter-Hubin and the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC). They have developed a fine slate of candidates for next year’s Board of Directors and the Nominations and Elections Committee.  To those who are running for office, thank you! It’s the willingness to serve your profession that makes your colleagues proud. If you haven’t cast your vote yet, please do so by March 3. Your vote is your voice. You rock the vote!

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2013-2014 President

 

 February 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.
 
Published January 14, 2014

I Resolve to… Learn Something Exciting

"Never be tired of learning or teaching others."
--Confucius

Happy New Year, AIR friends! I hope that 2014 brings you peace, happiness, and wisdom to embrace opportunities and face the challenges you will encounter this year. 

I find the idea of New Year’s resolutions to be fascinating. One of my friends says that she doesn’t do resolutions, but she does set goals. (To which I usually reply, “Tomato, tomahto.”) According to a list on the “Statistic Brain” website, losing weight is the No. 1 resolution that people make in the New Year. The list also has the other usual suspects (get organized, stop smoking, etc.), but the one I thought held the most promise was: “learn something exciting.” So let’s expand this to “learn something exciting about institutional research and AIR.” After all, according to our Ends policy, “AIR exists to provide current and relevant resources for institutional research….”  

One can spend a lot of time on the AIR website, but in my case, it’s usually only in one area. Imagine my surprise when I took a deeper look into the “Education and Events” section and found that opportunities abound for us to learn more about our profession. There are offerings for Online Education, Face-to-Face Education, Publications, the Annual Conference, and IPEDS Training. There is also a handy calendar of events for our affiliated organizations and other events of interest. 

I’ve decided to take some time each month and delve further into the Publications section. How about you? How can we ensure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform institutional research? Your Board of Directors would love to hear more about your ideas for how we can best educate our members. Take some time and let us know! 

Since I mentioned events of interest, please know that Immediate Past President Julie Carpenter-Hubin and the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) are hard at work developing a slate of nominees for our upcoming election. This is not an easy job and we are grateful for Julie’s leadership as well as the work of the entire NEC including Rachel Boon, Timothy Chow, Fred Lillibridge, Jan Lyddon, Soon Merz, and Allison Walters. They are supported by Lisa Gwaltney in AIR’s Executive Office.  

You will see the results of their great efforts later this month when elections are open and you can cast your vote for our organization’s leadership. Get ready to Rock the Vote! 

Sandi Bramblett
AIR 2013-2014 President

 

 January 2014 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

Published December 11, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude….the Big Thank You

My family and I participated in a recent drive, sponsored by a local radio station, called “The Big Thank You.” Our goal was to provide handwritten letters to every man and woman in military service overseas on Thanksgiving. It was an easy thing to do and hopefully brought a little bit of joy to our service personnel who are away from families and friends for the holidays.   As we move into the holiday season, it’s hard not to get caught up in practicing gratitude. I am grateful for the group of volunteers called the AIR Board of Directors. These 12 people define professionalism and have a passion for our Association. You may not realize how dedicated these folks are and what they are doing behind the scenes to ensure that your Association is moving forward under Policy Governance. Currently, there are three groups studying various aspects of Board operations. They include: 

wordcloud.jpgData Analysis Working Group (DAWG):
Led by Julie Carpenter-Hubin, the DAWG includes Marnie Einarson, Hansel Burley, Heather Kelly, Dawn Kenney, and myself. This group is studying data about institutional research to determine trends in higher education and to ensure that AIR’s Ends are aligned with addressing the future needs of practitioners in institutional research. The group has studied attendance at Forum sessions and pre-Forum Workshops, AIR Institutes, job titles, the Knowledge Matrix, and a host of other data to see what our members value. Jason Sullivan at The Ohio State University did a semantic analysis that produced this word cloud (to the left) to support our efforts. The group continues to work “DAWGedly” on your behalf.   

Policy Review Working Group: Elizabeth Stanley is facilitating this group that also includes and Gayle Fink, Martha Gray, Ellen Peters, Mauricio Saavedra, and Alice Simpkins. They are taking a deep dive into the documents that govern AIR, and their efforts will ensure that our Governance Policies are in alignment with our Constitution and Bylaws. The importance of their work cannot be overstated in that we cannot expect Policy Governance to work well if it is contrary to the very core of our tenets. This requires a keen eye and an appreciation for the subtleties of governance language.  

Ends Working Group: Gayle Fink is leading this group that includes Hansel Burley, Ellen Peters, and Dawn Kenney. The challenge before the Board as a whole is to consider whether to broaden or tighten the organizational outcomes/mission. The Ends Working Group will help the Board propose a framework (series of leading questions) for a face-to-face discussion on this challenge. In addition, the group will propose a similar framework for an Ends Advisory Committee whose membership would include current Board members, AIR members, and individuals who are external to the organization but who have a vested interest in our work.  

On top of all of this, they have day jobs, too! The author Elizabeth Berg said, “There is incredible value in being of service to others.” Your AIR Board exemplifies this, expecting nothing in return but an organization that will be better off for their good work. Again, I am grateful for each of them and their service.  

Sandi Bramblett

AIR 2013-2014 President  

 

 December 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 2
 
Jennifer posted on 12/12/2013 7:35 AM
Sandi,

And a huge thank you to you too for herding all these great cats!

Jennifer Brown, UMass Boston
Alice posted on 12/13/2013 1:26 PM
Thank you, Sandi, for the message of gratitude this month. The AIR Board could not complete its tasks without a competent leader. Thus, I must say how grateful I am to have you as our leader for 2013-2014.

 

Published November 12, 2013

Opportunity Knocks…What’s Your Answer? Just Say “Yes” 

My 8-year old son has caught the “Knock-Knock” joke bug, which means that life in the Bramblett household has become one big question, followed by a series of more questions. Our exchanges go something like this: 

 

He then collapses with giggles because I have once again been caught “falling for it.” This has been quite entertaining and has brought back some great memories. How often do we, as institutional researchers, answer a question with another question?

One of the things that binds higher education professionals together is curiosity. As practitioners, we have access to a lot of data and yet we don’t always put that data to work for us. That natural desire to answer questions is part of the fabric that makes IR appealing to so many people. 

We should take that curiosity a step further. Rather than just asking and answering questions, we should use the data to tell a story, maybe even before the questions are asked. Rather than just putting a nice spreadsheet together, perhaps we could explore the possibilities of what the data are telling us. This may constitute a different way of doing business on your campus, but why not? 

One of the first executives I worked for when I was new to IR encouraged me to look at problems and find solutions by asking more questions. It was OK to make a mistake as long as it was understood that a) I would fix it, and b) I promised that the same mistake wouldn’t be repeated. 

This was the launching point to craft our institution’s story. It wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always pretty, but this simple act of turning data into information was powerful and enabled decision-support to evolve. What does this look like in your world? Opportunity knocks! 

Speaking of opportunity knocking, our wonderful AIR volunteers deserve a shout-out for just saying “yes.” With more than 500 proposals for concurrent sessions, panels, posters, and discussion groups for the 2014 Forum, a lot of folks said “yes,” and we thank you. 

Additionally, nearly 400 volunteers said “yes” to the opportunity to review and rate those proposals. The Forum is definitely shaping up nicely. Nominations for AIR’s leadership positions were made and will, no doubt, yield dozens of people who are willing to step up to the plate to lead this organization. Again, many thanks.

There are many volunteers who followed Past President Julie Carpenter-Hubin’s advice to “Just say yes” and we, as AIR’s Board of Directors, are grateful. 

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President

 

 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published October 8, 2013

Prepositions, Evaluations, and the Joy of Yes

Have you ever really thought about the difference between the words “for” and “of?” They’re both prepositions and they both originated before 900 A.D. Recent discussions with a colleague caused me to pull out a dictionary (yes, the old-fashioned Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary) and look up the two words. The word “of” is used as a “function word to indicate cause, motive, or reason.” The word “for” is also a “function word,” but in this case, it is used “to indicate purpose.” 

When I first joined AIR in 1994, I referred to it as the “Association of Institutional Research” until I was (gently) corrected at the Foundations Institute. The faculty during that Institute at Northern Kentucky University made sure the participants knew not only that we are the “Association for Institutional Research,” but also that institutional research is indeed a profession. 

I often reflect on that conversation (and the many that followed) with Rich Howard, Gerry McLaughlin, Michael Middaugh, and Karen Webber, especially now that the Board is looking at strategic directions for AIR and for the profession. The Board doesn’t have all the answers, and that is probably a good thing. We can turn to you, the members, to bring your voice to the table. 

What should the Association for Institutional Research focus on? IPEDS training? Big Data? Scholarly publications? Preparing the next group of IR leaders, and for what? Let us know your thoughts on what the goals for AIR should be for the next three to five years. 

In case you missed it, the AIR Executive Office released the results of the 2013 Forum evaluation. For those of us who like this sort of thing, 56.2% of the Forum participants responded to the survey with a whopping 97% reporting they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their Forum experience! Wouldn’t we love that type of high satisfaction rating in our own worlds?

Other areas that were evaluated include contributions to professional knowledge/skill, accommodations, value, and concurrent session quality. For additional information, check out the website.

It would appear that the professional development opportunities at the annual Forum continue to be the driving force behind our membership’s needs. The other driving force is our volunteers, and I will cover that in next month’s column to be titled “Just Say Yes.” In the meantime, get out from behind your desk, take a walk around your campus, and enjoy the fall weather! 

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President
   

 

 October 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 
Published September 10, 2013

Seeing the Light: The Board, Cool Bikes, and the Lumina Foundation

lumina.jpgLumina is a “unit equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candle intensity radiating equally in all directions” (Dictionary.com). Besides a lot of pictures of Chevrolets and nail polish, a Google search for “lumina” produces images like the one to the left.

My own interpretation of lumina is the glow that surrounds the flame of a candle, lighting a pathway. Since last month’s eAIR, the AIR Board gathered in Indianapolis for a two-day meeting. We spent one day at Lumina™ Foundation and were privileged to meet with Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO; Holiday (Holly) Hart McKieman, Chief of Staff and General Counsel; and Courtney Brown, Director of Organizational Performance and Evaluation. They very generously shared their views about the future of higher education and where institutional research fits in the big picture.

Lumina’s day-to-day existence revolves around Goal 2025, its strategic plan that calls for mobilization “at the local, state, and national levels to reach the goal of 60 percent higher education attainment.” Lumina is data-driven and is a huge fan of the IR profession. Lumina leaders encouraged us to determine if AIR serves individuals, organizations, or both, and to then develop our strategic plan from there. Lumina partners with organizations that can help advance its initiatives, and is willing to take calculated risks to ensure that those partnerships lead to the advancement of Goal 2025. 

Our time with Lumina was informative, motivating, and inspiring! Thank you to Randy Swing for making this visit happen. His connections to the world of higher education are unparalleled, and AIR benefits greatly because of them. Christopher Coogan also provided the Board with tremendous support in Indy, and we are grateful for his presence.  

While in Indy, we were smack in the middle of an annual event called “Motorcycles on Meridian.” We saw thousands of bikes, bikers, and gamers. (The latter group was likely there for Gen Con, a huge gaming convention.) Several of your Board members left the city with a dream to someday ride the open road on a Harley, but for now we’re going to concentrate on Policy Governance and whether or not we’re getting the Ends right. Stayed tuned for more information.  

Shifting gears, it’s time to think about our colleagues who are so deserving of our AIR Member Awards. Please consider submitting a nomination for one of AIR’s three distinctive awards:  

  • Outstanding Service Award recognizes a member for professional leadership and exemplary service to AIR, and may be bestowed posthumously. 
  • Sidney Suslow Scholar Award recognizes an individual who, through scholarly work, has made significant contributions to the field of institutional research and advanced understanding of the profession in a meaningful way. The candidate may or may not be an AIR member or past member.
  • John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award recognizes an individual whose professional career has significantly advanced the field of institutional research through extraordinary scholarship, leadership, and service. 

Nominations for the 2014 member awards will close on January 13, 2014. For more information about the criteria for each award and the nomination process, visit the Awards page. 

As always, please feel free to contact me or any member of your Board of Directors with your ideas, suggestions, or questions.  

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President

 

 

 September 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.
 

 

 

Published August 13, 2013  

Looking into the Crystal Ball... 

When my institution wrote our most recent strategic plan we did something that was out of the ordinary. We wrote the plan for 25 years out, taking us to the year 2035. Now, this might seem counter-intuitive to those of us who are used to thinking about strategic plans as our guiding light for five to seven years. However, this worked beautifully. The reason? When you are planning that far out, you can think freely, without limitations around human, financial, and capital resources. The process energized the faculty, staff, alumni, and our other stakeholders, allowing creativity and innovative disruption to take place. We initially had no idea that MOOCs were about to invade higher education, but we were able to respond because we had the right folks around the table saying, “Let’s try this!” 

What about higher education? What does the future hold? We don’t even need to think 25 years out. Five years will be sufficient. For example, in the U.S., what will the Higher Education Act look like? Will IPEDS still be in existence? What about the issues facing our institutions in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa? What does your campus leadership think? Are you asking the questions locally so we can respond globally? AIR’s Board of Directors ponders these questions a great deal, and we try to reach out to those who can help us formulate some answers. Last year, we visited with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Next week, we will be gathering at Lumina™ Foundation. These interactions are important as are those with our members. We’ll keep you posted about what we find while we’re in Indianapolis.  

In addition to the visit with Lumina Foundation, your Board will be hard at work evaluating our governance policies and procedures. We now have Policy Governance fully in place so we’re in the fine-tuning stage. As stated on the AIR website, “most of the important decisions made on campuses regarding an institution's most vital programs and responsibilities are based on analytics produced by institutional research professionals. AIR makes sure these professionals are fully equipped to perform their jobs at the highest levels.” Please help us help you. 

Tell us what AIR can do to ensure that you have what you need to address the future of higher education at home and around the world! 

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President  

 

 August 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Jennifer posted on 8/15/2013 12:58 PM
What a terrific opportunity to have AIR Board members meeting with folks at the Lumina Foundation! It is critical to all of us as members that the leaders leading HE policy organizations (who meet with our institutional leaders directly and certainly influence them) share the table with real, live IR (and Assessment, and IE, and faculty or whatever our titles are) to learn and educate. Cannot wait to hear the follow up! Thanks, all.

And yes, 25 years is liberating! We are coming to the end of the first five years of implementation of our first 25 year plan. The campus is dug up from one end to the other and new programs, buildings and research under way! I think it is working!

Published July 11, 2013

A Week at the Beach with Big Data  

Summer is here and I hope that with it, you find some time to relax and unwind! My husband, our sons, and I spent a week at the beach with my husband’s family. (It’s an annual trip with 20 people who get along famously well with each other. The worst drama we deal with happens among those under 14.

While I was there, I had some time to read for pleasure, so one of the books I worked my way through was titled Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. The authors define big data as “the ability of society to harness information in novel ways to produce useful insights or goods and services of significant value.” Released in March of this year, the book is a fascinating read, especially for those of us who are data wonks, and even for those who aren’t. 

I had never really thought about data as an “ability,” but sure enough, that description is fitting when one realizes that decision support is dependent upon accessing data and knowing what to do with it. One of the really big ideas in the book is the notion that because of the vast amounts of data that are now available on anything and everything (where “N=all”), we can stop looking for causality and begin to get comfortable with correlation, especially since we can compile, validate, analyze and store data with relative ease. This may seem counterintuitive to researchers who want to go beyond knowing “what” so they can help us understand “why.”  So, why is this important?

At the recent Forum in Long Beach, I saw a lot of folks who chose the “Big Data” sticker to personalize their nametags, and I’m using the Board Corner to get additional feedback. By the way, what a great overhaul of the name tags! Not only could I read my colleagues’ names clearly, but I could see what folks were really interested in…it made for some really good conversations about business intelligence, benchmarking, Orlando 2014, and other relevant topics.

So what are your thoughts on big data? What are the opportunities for higher education and AIR? Use the comments section below to get the conversation going.  

Speaking of the Forum, the Association’s financial statement was a topic of great interest during the Annual Business Meeting. You can find it on the AIR website

As always, please feel free to contact me or any member of your Board of Directors with your ideas, concerns, or just to check in. We want to hear from you!  

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President

 

 

 

 July 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 2
 
Jennifer posted on 7/11/2013 1:58 PM
Sandy, Thanks for the review of the book (not my idea of beach reading, I do confess!) but so timely. While there are lots of different understandings of what 'Big Data" are (or is), the impacts of different ways of thinking about the information that we have available are really exciting. It is hard to get one's nose out of the 'necessary' reporting data and explore the larger canvass, but so much fun! I do wish getting the technology up and running and accessible to IR offices was a faster process....
jb
Teresa posted on 7/11/2013 2:14 PM
Thanks for the review, Sandy - the same book is on my desk but I've only just dipped in. The ideas behind the big data movement have gained much traction on our campus and we are revamping our traditional IR operation to provide resources to focus on modeling and analysis in addition to our reporting. I think as we move forward our administrations will want to explore analysis of the data points provided by campus cards, online classroom systems, admissions management systems and such as well as the traditional student, employee and financial data we know so well.

 

Published June 11, 2013 

Board and Policy Governance Work for Members 

Hello, AIR members! I have three things on my mind as I author my first Board Corner, and, fair warning, none of them are seemingly related to each other. Perhaps, though, I can tie a big bow on this and make it work. irst of all, you may have heard that Georgia Tech announced it will offer an Online Master of Science in Computer Science using a MOOC platform for somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000-$7,000, which is a fraction of our traditional on-campus degree program. Revolutionary? Most definitely. Scary? Maybe a little. But in the long run, we see a real potential to do a grand experiment by trying something new.  

Two years ago, the AIR membership voted to implement a system of policy governance. It was a new way of doing business in an Association that had lived without policy governance for some 50 years. Now we can see that the grand experiment is working. The Board of Directors has the honor of representing our members as we set priorities for the profession, and the AIR Executive Office is tasked with achieving the Ends that make our priorities come to fruition.   is not always easy, nor is it the most intuitive concept, but seeing how the hard work of the two previous Boards has made an impact makes me believe that this outcome will indeed be successful for you, our AIR members.  Second, speaking of members, this seems like a good place to remind you that your AIR Board of Directors works for you. If there is anything we can do for you, please know that we are here to listen. We spend a great deal of time gathering the voice of the members, so feel free to reach out to us. Our contact information can be found on the AIR website, and we fully expect that we will hear from you. Remember, you voted to put us in these roles (thank you very much)…now, keep us on our toes!  

Finally, “thank you” doesn’t quite begin to express the profound gratitude of the Board to the AIR Executive Office staff, wonderful sponsors, and an army of AIR volunteers for a fabulous Forum in Long Beach, Calif. Whether you reviewed proposals, presented at a concurrent or poster session, set up a booth in the Exhibit Hall, spent your AIR bucks, or handled some of the hundreds of small details that make the Forum work, we couldn’t have done this without you. As Immediate Past President Julie Carpenter-Hubin so eloquently put it at the closing brunch, hundreds of you were willing to “just say yes” to make AIR the amazing organization that it is. Kudos! 

Sandi Bramblett
2013-2014 AIR President 

 

 June 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published May 6, 2013

Change in Governance has been Worthwhile Journey 

I hope you are as excited about the upcoming Forum as I am! One of the highlights this year is the screening of the film “First Generation,” the story of four high school students – an inner-city athlete, a small-town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers – who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education. Following the screening, viewers are invited to join the filmmakers and students from the film for discussion and a question-and-answer period. Proceeds from the screening benefit AIR scholarships, so this is a great opportunity to contribute to our Association while doing something really fun.  

This is my last Board Corner as Board President. We have made significant progress in our move to policy governance, a governance model that clarifies the roles for both the Board and for the AIR Executive Office. Under this model, the Board determines the Ends for the Association – the results we want, for whom we want those results, and at what cost. It is then up to the Executive Office to achieve those Ends, and they must do so while avoiding any circumstances or actions deemed unacceptable by the Board.

I think my fellow Board members will agree with me that the transition to the role of governor rather than doer has not been easy. We are, after all, analysts and problem solvers. We have discovered, though, through our conversations over the past year, that governing rather than doing simply requires us to refocus our analytical skills. Our analysis is focused now on understanding the skills and knowledge our members need today and will need tomorrow, so that we can make sure the Executive Office is providing appropriate educational content.

We no longer engage in developing a budget for the Association, but we engage our problem-solving skills in monitoring the Association’s activities to assure that we remain fiscally responsible and sound. This journey has been challenging, and I am grateful to my Board colleagues for their wisdom and insights over the past year.

Best wishes to you all for a wonderful summer, 

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President 

 

 May 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Bill posted on 5/9/2013 3:27 PM
Julie, many thanks for your outstanding leadership this year.

 

Published April 8, 2013 

Board Considers AIR's Role in Universal IR Issues

As you have seen in previous Board Corners, we have been working to fulfill our role in gathering the voice of the members to help the Board assess the current Association Ends and make adjustments if needed. The Ends policies developed by the Board are what set the direction and activities of the CEO and staff. They are an important component of the performance evaluation by the Board, on your behalf. 

All this is to say that we have received the results from McKinley Advisors who interviewed AIR members who are early-career professionals and directors of early-career professionals. Thanks to all who participated.  

We gained more evidence that most of us did indeed enter this profession by accident, that most IR offices are small, and that professionals need both technical and "soft" skills as so much of our work is about relationships. We also received further evidence that many of us enter the profession with strong sets of skills, but not always the same skills. It is this mixture of information that makes meeting the End that "AIR members have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties and functions of institutional research" a continuing challenge for the Association, given such a wide variety of needs and constantly evolving technologies, statistical techniques and policy questions.  

One of the Ends with which the Board has wrestled concerns non-AIR members. It is stated as follows: Non AIR members have the knowledge and skills necessary to produce high quality higher education data and to use such data appropriately and effectively. Resources for the accomplishment of ends for non-members will not be used to the detriment of meeting the ends for AIR members. 

McKinley Advisors gave the following summary on the topic: 

“AIR’s performance in this area is difficult to gauge because every research participant was a member. However, this objective speaks to AIR’s interest in advancing the overall field of institutional research. The question is whether an End should be written in a way that differentiates members from non-members. AIR enjoys strong brand awareness and can certainly leverage its equity to advance an education platform that leads the overall field. An End that speaks more globally about adding to the knowledge base in institutional research could help direct the organization and its operations toward a goal of leading the field overall.“ 

The IPEDS training, funded though non-membership dollars, is one example of what the Board was articulating in this End, making the assumption that higher quality data is directly linked to higher quality research and policy recommendations. 

What do you think about an End that addresses the issues McKinley Advisors suggests in the passage italicized above? Is this something the Board should address? 

We look forward to hearing from you, and seeing many of you in Long Beach next month! 

Jennifer Brown
AIR Immediate Past President 

 

 April 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.
 
Published March 12, 2013 
 
The Practice of IR Touches Many Areas
 

Greetings, colleagues!  

I have been trying unsuccessfully to come up with an antonym for "pigeonhole" that might describe a way to classify institutional researchers. We are not easy to sort into tidy bins. Our colleagues who focus primarily on assessment are often involved in survey administration and reporting, and institutional researchers with responsibility for strategic planning may also develop metrics to assure that there is accountability for the plans. 

Faculty who focus on institutional research as an academic study inform the work of practitioners – no IR practitioner would think of conducting a faculty salary study or measuring student success without reviewing the work of our faculty IR colleagues.  Offices charged with data reporting help others use those data to understand trends and comparative data from other institutions. And when it comes to types of positions, we hold a range that covers everything from entry-level analysts to institution president!  

My thinking about our diverse responsibilities has to do with the Board’s mission to represent the voice of the members. I had something of an epiphany at our February Board meeting. We are reviewing the Ends policies we created for our Association, and are considering whether and how we might narrow the Ends so the Board takes greater responsibility for determining the types of knowledge and skills the Association will provide to our members. 

I had prepared to discuss how we might go about collecting insights from each of the various groups that make up institutional research. Then, it occurred to me that that was really the wrong way to go about the Board’s job, for we are not a multitude of associations that happen to meet at the same time in the same location. So, as good institutional researchers, we have started to collect data that will tell us what our members have found valuable in the past and what work they are engaged in the present.  

We are looking at Forum workshops and presentations, at article titles from NDIR and RIHE, at websites from other IR-related organizations, and at reports on relevant topics done for the Association in the past. If there are materials you think we should review, please let me know. And if you have a great antonym for "pigeonhole," send me that as well. 

If you haven’t done so already, please do visit the AIR website to check out our newly elected officers for Vice President, Board At-Large, and the Nominations and Elections Committee. These folks will take office at the annual business meeting during the AIR Forum in Long Beach, Calif.

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President

 

 March 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 4
 
Alice posted on 3/14/2013 1:01 PM
Julie, thank you for the wonderful summary of our diverse duties! -Alice
Teri posted on 3/14/2013 2:50 PM
Julie - I have been known to describe institutional researchers as "fence sitters", but not in the way that means we can't make decisions! More from the sense of sitting on top of a lot of fences and seeing what happens on all sides. This lets us work to interpret between different areas on campus as well as gives us unique insight into the larger framework and structure of how information flows (or doesn't!) across the institution.
Jennifer posted on 3/21/2013 12:48 PM
Julie - thanks so much for 'connecting the dots' about what we all do. It is, I think, easy to underestimate ourselves and thereby be underestimated! Our work forms very important bridges between all parts of the University from athletics to admissions and from facilities to finance.In our roles in IR we lead, nudge, steer and contribute in all sorts of ways across the span of the university. It does make creating the Ends policies challenging, but challenge rarely discourages those of us who thrive on our work in untidy bins!
Eduardo posted on 4/11/2013 2:30 PM
I think it important to think about the past and the present but we need to seriously consider the skills we will need in the near future. I don't believe that technology will solve all our problems but many applications out there can address many issues we deal with(basic reports and information). We can do more on our campuses if we do more analysis. We have to start thinking about the skills that can help us to connect all the dots that we can see now. We cannot continue generating the same types of reports(like the type of thick factbooks that we are generating). New relational databases give us access to different areas of our student lives and we need to get the skills that will help us to do some other things like data mining, text mining, interactive dashboards,and forecasting.
Whenever I speak about these issues though I either hear people saying that they don't have those skills (too advanced for me) or that they are not interested because they are busy putting together "reports" (just information). If we want to be considered seriously, we need to be able to advise people and come up with more complex analysis.

 

Published February 11, 2013 

Visionary Candidates Shape the Future of the Association  


As you go to the online polls to vote for your AIR Board At-Large Members, Vice President, and Nominations and Elections Committee members, I hope you’ll keep in mind the policy governance system under which we now operate. Policy governance calls for the AIR Board of Directors to be the voice of AIR membership. While Board members have always represented their colleagues, our new governance system means that this is our entire focus. No longer do we engage in the day-to-day operations of our Association – today, the Board is responsible for establishing our vision for the future, delegating the fulfillment of that vision to the Association’s CEO, and holding the CEO responsible for fulfilling that vision. While the Board was previously made up of officers and chairs, each responsible for a particular set of responsibilities or a committee, the Board now governs as a whole and “speaks with one voice.”

Why should this affect your vote? Candidates for office were chosen precisely because they are thoughtful and concerned with the future of the Association and, more generally, our profession. But elections mean choices. As you mark your ballot, vote for the individuals you consider visionary and capable of communicating that vision. Vote for those who can and will vigorously debate the issues, but are respectful enough of their colleagues to support decisions of the whole, even when they may disagree personally.
 
For more information on policy governance, a brief description can be found at the PolicyGovernance.com website. You may find the Governance Coach example helpful as well.  

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President
  

 

 February 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
jhonalex posted on 3/17/2014 2:40 PM
Why should this affect your vote? Candidates for office were chosen precisely because they are thoughtful and concerned with the future of the Association and, more generally, our profession. But elections mean choices. As you mark your ballot, vote for the individuals you consider visionary and capable of communicating that vision. Vote for those who can and will vigorously debate the issues, but are respectful enough of their colleagues to support decisions of the whole, even when they may disagree personally. <a href="http://www.corkandbottle.co/">bottle opener</a>

 
Published January 14, 2013

Board Strives to Meet Varied Member Needs  

Our February Board of Directors meeting will focus on what we have learned this year about the current and future needs of our members. One major source of information we now have is the report commissioned by our Voice of the Members Ad Hoc Committee, which looks at the needs of the early career professional (ECP) in institutional research. Based on telephone interviews with ECPs  and supervisors of professionals at this level, the report provides insights about their past experience and future career path,  perceptions of “go to” resources for information and professional development,  vision for the future of IR, and their perceived needs for certain skills to adapt to the changing field or institutional environment.

Additionally, Tina Leimer and Bill Knight discussed their respective research related to institutional research professionals with us during teleconferences. Tina’s work is on multi-function offices –  offices with responsibilities in addition to the traditional work of institutional research such as assessment or strategic planning. Bill’s latest research is focused on leadership and management of institutional research.  We are grateful to both Tina and Bill for their wisdom and insight.

The interdisciplinary nature of our work, the membership of both scholars and practitioners, and the range of structures and duties of our offices create both opportunities and challenges for our association as we seek to assure that we are meeting the varied needs of our members. The Board embraces these opportunities – and we couldn’t be institutional researchers if we didn’t love a challenge. This is a test

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President 

 

 January 2013 Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published: December 11, 2012 

Opportunities to Recognize Excellence 

Thanksgiving is past, but I remain ever thankful for my wonderful institutional research colleagues. I heard from several of you about partnerships between IR and IT on your campus following my last Board Corner – thank you for sharing. We are truly fortunate to work in a milieu that promotes collaborations and the sharing of ideas so that we can all move toward excellence.   

You now have the opportunity to recognize excellence by nominating a colleague for one of the 2013 AIR member awards: 

  • Outstanding Service Award recognizes a member for professional leadership and exemplary service to AIR, and may be bestowed posthumously.
  • Sidney Suslow Scholar Award recognizes an individual who, through scholarly work, has made significant contributions to the field of institutional research and advanced understanding of the profession in a meaningful way.  The candidate may or may not be an AIR member or past member.
  • John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award recognizes an individual whose professional career has significantly advanced the field of institutional research through extraordinary scholarship, leadership, and service. 

You should have received an email on December 11 announcing the nomination process.  For more information, visit the AIR website.  Nominations are due by January 11, 2013. I hope you’ll take the time to think about colleagues who fit the descriptions provided and nominate those most qualified. 

Best wishes,

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President
   

 

 December Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published: November12, 2012

IT and IR: The Dynamic Duo of Campus Analytics

The political campaigning is finally over, and as someone from the great swing state of Ohio, I am delighted that the phone calls and negative advertisements have stopped! On the other hand, it’s been really interesting to see the attention paid to statistical analyses of polling data. New York Times blogger Nate Silver has emerged as the star political statistician; his accurate predictions demonstrating that data are more reliable than even very well-informed intuitions. Silver and a host of other political analysts are creating models that can be tested over time, improved, and perhaps applied in other arenas.   

Predictive models, of course, are not new to institutional researchers. But the power of big data is attracting a lot of attention from our Information Technology colleagues now as well, with EDUCAUSE devoting publications, conferences, and workshops to the topic. One of my wonderful colleagues from IT participated in an EDUCAUSE workshop yesterday. He emailed from the workshop to say that much of the material presented emphasized a recent theme of our own discussions, which is that IT and IR need to partner in the development and use of analytics on our campuses. The AIR Board is exploring these connections as well, as we work to collect the voice of the member. 

Earlier this month, AIR Past President Jennifer Brown and Executive Director Randy Swing attended the EDUCAUSE Summit, “Empowering Students in the Age of Big Data Summit,” and were interested to see examples of analytics that support student success at the campus level, and at the course level. The opportunities for IR and IT to combine their skills to benefit students, faculty, staff, and campus leaders are ripe. 

I’m interested in hearing about your experiences collaborating with IT on your campus. The Board would love to know if there are organizational structures that facilitate these collaborations especially well, or if there are particular projects that have involved IR and IT on your campus in a particularly productive way. We hope to hear from you! 

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President    

 

 November Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Elizabeth posted on 11/16/2012 3:59 PM
Mark Heidrich and I just presented a presentation at NEAIR in Bethesda a few weeks ago and at MdAIR prior to that in October that outlined our new online request form for IR/ IT and the Registrar's offices. We have just worked through an initial implementation of our integrated request form and will be working through the second stage of it in the near future. The future collaboration will be an integration of our request form with Google apps after we integrate Google into our campus system starting over the winter holiday. We have been fortunate that our current CIO has past experience as director of IR at another institution and encourages a lot of collaboration between IR and IT.

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information about our ongoing collaboration or the presentation materials.

Elizabeth Clune-Kneuer

 

Published: October 15, 2012

Nominations Process Important to Future of AIR

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 the privilege of being on the Board has allowed me 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. We’re constantly reviewing the tenets of policy governance and working to assure that we’re focusing on determining the ends of the organization, rather than the means to those ends. The AIR Board of Directors is a learning organization, and it has been exciting to participate in this transition. 

As Board members in this new structure, our learning happens both individually and collectively – thus my gratitude for my outstanding colleagues. I’ve built professional relationships and friendships that I prize, and I know they will endure long after I have stepped down from the Board. 

Please check out the suggested qualities for AIR Board nominees online. Nominations are sought for the following positions:  

  • Vice-President (one position)

  • At-Large Members of the Board (three positions)

  • Nominations and Elections Committee Members (three positions) 

We need great people to carry on the work of the Board. I look forward to receiving your nominations.

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

 

 October Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published: September 21, 2012

Visit with Gates Foundation Staff Inspires

Greetings from the Board.  I mentioned in my last column that we were holding our fall Board meeting in Seattle, and that we would have the opportunity to visit with staff from the Gates Foundation as part of that meeting.  We had a terrific experience. The Gates staff were incredibly generous with their time, and we learned much about their strategic planning processes that we can apply to our planning for AIR. 

They reminded us of Stephen Covey’s admonition to “begin with the end in mind,” which can be so easy to forget when we get caught up in the day-to-day processes and tasks at hand.  We had a great conversation about actionable measurement, and of course we couldn’t agree more with their foundational theory that if you bring together the right people, the right data, and the right analysis, the quality of decisions made will be significantly improved. 

I’m very grateful to Randy Swing and to our great colleague at the Gates Foundation, Elise Miller, for arranging this opportunity.  Additionally, I’m thankful that Laura Saunders, past-President of AIR and current Interim President of Bellevue College, joined us for the meeting. Her perspective as a community college president and institutional researcher added a great deal to the conversation.   

The Board continues to explore the future of institutional research so that AIR can provide the training and support to keep us on the cutting edge.  Board members are taking turns doing environmental scans and reporting out during our monthly conference calls. We’re inviting members who have conducted research on the future of the profession to participate in our calls, and we have plans to meet with leaders of other higher education professional organizations.  We’ll share what we’re learning in upcoming Board Corners, and we hope you’ll provide us with your feedback. 

Have a wonderful fall term, 

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President

P.S.  In case you’re wondering, I didn’t personally see him, but several of the Board members did spy Bill Gates in the hallway at the Foundation!

 

 September Comments

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published: August 18, 2012

 

Excitement High About Gates Foundation Talks

I mentioned in my last Board Corner that I was planning to read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow while on vacation. I can’t recommend it highly enough! He explains the two systems that drive the way we think – one that is fast, intuitive, and emotional, and the other that is slower, deliberative, and more logical. It was both interesting and easy for me to connect his explanations of how we think and make choices to the work of institutional researchers and how we understand our data results. If anyone else has read it or plans to, let me know – I’d love to have a discussion about what it means for our field. 

As of this writing, the AIR Board of Directors is traveling to Seattle for the fall Board Meeting, and we’re looking forward to discussions with staff of the Gates Foundation. We hope to learn much about how they develop foci for the Foundation, and how they simultaneously encourage creativity and accountability. And, of course, we hope to inform them about the wonderful resource that AIR and our members can be for the Foundation. Many thanks are due to Randy Swing, our Chief Executive Officer, for arranging this opportunity. We will share outcomes of some of these conversations in a future edition of eAIR. 

Lastly, let me follow in Jennifer Brown’s path by asking you to please contact me and/or other board members with your wisdom about how the Association can best support you through professional development and networking. We are anxious to hear the voice of our members, so please speak up! 

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President   

 

 August Comments:

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 

Published: July 26, 2012 

Add Board Report to Summer Reading List 

Greetings! I hope that you are able to find some time this summer to relax and recharge. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks on the beach with Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow (he won the Nobel in economic science in 2002), followed by as many mystery novels as I can devour.

Before you get to your summer reading list, though, I hope you’ll take a look at the AIR Annual Board of Directors Report to the Membership for 2011-12. While the report lacks the suspense and drama of most of my beach reading, it does provide very good news for AIR members. Our organization is financially healthy, with a clean audit and the largest annual net reserve in the history of the Association. And there’s more good news – visit the AIR website to read more.

With our July Board teleconference, we begin the process of assuring that the good work of the previous Board in developing Ends and Means policies continues and that policy governance is institutionalized within the Association. We will be reviewing our policies according to the schedule outlined in the Governance Policy Process, as well as the Monitoring Reports provided by the Executive Office. Beyond these reviews, we will continue to collect the Voice of the Member, and hope you will all make yours loud and clear!

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-13 AIR President

July Comments:

To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

 
Published: June 26, 2012

Member Feedback Will Help Guide Association

It was wonderful to see so many friends and colleagues at the Forum in New Orleans! I hope that those of you who attended were able to take a break from the rich array of presentations and enjoy the amazing food and hospitality of our host city. Thank you to the hundreds of AIR members who volunteered behind the scenes to make the Forum happen, and thank you to everyone who presented their work or led a discussion. Last, but not least, kudos to Randy Swing and all of the staff at the AIR Executive Office for orchestrating the Forum so beautifully!

Last year, the Board spent much of our time crafting the Ends Policies that are the foundation of our governance structure. This year, we will be soliciting information from you about what you need now and what you expect to need in the future from our Association. The Voice of the Members Ad Hoc Committee has already done much to solicit this feedback from members who are fairly new to the field of institutional research. We look forward to expanding this work to experienced IR professionals, and I plan to build on related work done by Tina Leimer through focus groups at the Forum.

I hope you’ll take time to review the Governance Policies as well as the Monitoring Reports submitted by the Executive Office, which can be found on the AIR website. These documents are extremely helpful for understanding how AIR is governed and how the Executive Office is held accountable for achieving the Association’s ends.

Have a wonderful summer!

Julie Carpenter-Hubin
2012-2013 AIR President

Comments:

 

To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.

Published: May 22, 2012

 

New Governance Policies Were Important Change 

This is my last Board Update as Board President and the end of our first year with our new Board governance system. I know for most of you, the new governance system is not in the forefront of your daily concerns, but in the context of our Association’s life, it is a significant change. 
 
I have mentioned in my notes over the past months that the Board has been working on AIR governing policies and monitoring reports. Monitoring reports are prepared by the Chief Executive Officer for each relevant policy. They are the method by which CEO accountability for implementing the policies is demonstrated to the Board, and thereby to you. There is a reporting schedule contained in the policies, and not one deadline has been missed. 
 
After a year of working all this through, a year which has required a lot of new thinking, organizing, and work for the Association CEO and staff, as well as for the Board, we want to share the materials with you. Visit the AIR website to view the policies and monitoring reports. 
 
We have focused heavily this year on the two sets of policies directed at AIR Executive Office action: Executive Limitations and Ends. However, the other sets of policies, Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation, are equally important. These four sets of policies together establish clear lines of responsibility and authority for the Board and CEO. The policies form a system for making sure the Board speaks clearly about what it wants, as a whole, and that the CEO responds to those priorities. I am absolutely sure that we are a stronger, better-organized and focused Association now than we have ever been.  
 
In the year ahead, we also have a schedule for the Board to systematically review its own processes to make sure we are doing business in ways that meet our governance commitment to, "…see to it that the Association for Institutional Research a) achieves appropriate results for appropriate persons at an appropriate cost…, and b) avoids unacceptable actions and situations…" 
 
It is critical for the next 50 years of the Association that we continue to adapt to change.  I am sure you have noticed the increasing concern about the strength and sustainability of many higher education associations in articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I am really proud of the AIR membership for having taken action that increases the likelihood that we will continue to serve member needs and add value to higher education more broadly for at least another 50 years. 
 
I hope you have at least some time to play this summer, that graduation ceremonies are wonderful, and that those of you who cannot make it to the Forum this year will be in Long Beach next year! 
 

Jennifer Brown
2011-2012 AIR President

 

Comments:

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 8
 
Julie posted on 5/23/2012 7:27 PM
It has been such a pleasure to work with you, Jennifer, over the past year. Your leadership has been key to our establishment of the governing policies and reporting process. We are all very fortunate to have had such a wise and insightful leader during this transition period. Thank you!
Christine posted on 5/23/2012 7:48 PM
Jennifer - I also want to express my appreciation for your leadership, good judgment, and action-oriented approach! Your ability to listen and to bring differing perspectives together toward a common goal is what AIR needed during this time of transition. Thank you for your time and service over the past year.
Elizabeth posted on 5/23/2012 11:04 PM
Thank you, Jennifer, for your leadership, thoughtfulness, sound judgments, and sense of humor during this transition year. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you, and I look forward to more of your wise counsel as you move to the role of Immediate Past President.
Marne posted on 5/24/2012 9:13 AM
Jennifer, I am very appreciative of your leadership over this past year. You struck an excellent balance between process and action that helped us navigate the transition to the new governance system. Your patience, openness to other perspectives, and sense of humor helped me feel welcome and valued as a new Board member. I look forward to continuing to work with you in your role as Immediate Past President!
Glenn posted on 5/24/2012 1:58 PM
Jennifer -- Clearly, the past year has been one of mammoth change and transition. Your clear thinking and strong leadership has been crucial and much appreciated, as the Board of Directors and the Executive Office have strived to help AIR move forward in an even stronger and better way. Thank you very much for your extensive work, and congratulations on an outstanding year as President!
Randy posted on 5/24/2012 4:26 PM
We are only one year into this, but many years into the making of this Association. The calls and emails are coming in from other membership associations who are openly envious of what is going on at AIR. There have been several sources of the "juice" for these efforts, but Jennifer is absolutely the "secret sauce" that pulled it all together. Congratulations Jennifer and all the Board for a fabulous year. AIR governance has been redefined and the world is taking notice.
Mardy posted on 5/25/2012 11:37 AM
Jennifer,
Thanks for your leadership during a time of significant transition. You have been focused on understanding and implementing the nuances of policy governance all while always being committed to the long-term needs of the Association and our members. Genuine colleague; superior leadership.
Thank you, Mardy
Alice posted on 6/7/2012 11:39 AM
It's been a great year! Going from MEANS to developing ENDS for the Association was a challenging task. Thank you, Jennifer, for learning your lessons well and for guiding the Board through the process. The organization is better because of this work. I look forward to continuing to receive your thoughtful insights as you continue your service in the position of Immediate Past President. PS The Forum was wonderful! I will continue to learn from the sessions as I download papers for presentations that I could not attend. I hope that other members will also.
 

Board Members' Commitment Makes Service a Pleasure - April 2012

 

Time sure flies when you're having fun. 

The Board met for its monthly teleconference on April 3, with a full slate of business. Some days before the meeting, we received three monitoring reports. These are the mechanisms through which the Board is able to hold the CEO accountable for adhering to the Board’s policies. This time, we looked at the biannual reports on the Treatment of Staff and the Treatment of Members as well as the quarterly report on the Financial Conditions and Activities. These reports, which are read carefully by each Board member before discussion, enable the Board to ensure that the CEO’s interpretation of the relevant policy is reasonable or to make policy adjustments if further clarification is required.  

We will soon be completing a full year of the monitoring reports, and we look forward to making them available to you by the end of this membership year. 

We also accepted the recommendations of Board Treasurer Paul Duby and RFP reviewers Joseph Hoey, Glenn James, and Alice Simpkins, on a new audit firm to undertake a three-year contract. We thanked the CEO for the excellent job in getting the Board’s RFP out to a good range of firms and collecting the RFP responses for the Board’s consideration. A similar process is underway for the selection of a firm to undertake some research on members’ future needs on behalf of the Board. In addition, Paul Duby was authorized by the Board to contract a CEO compensation study on behalf of the Board. 

I also want to mention that Board members are extraordinarily responsible in their preparation for and attendance of meetings, both face-to-face and in teleconference. Calls have been made from a wide variety of airports, hotel lobbies, parental kitchens in the UK, and (our favorite) from Timbuktu (there are several spellings!). In the latter instance, Elizabeth Stanley, the Board Secretary, did not want to miss the meeting. While she does not have to write the minutes, she does review and approve the release of them – hard to do if you are not at the meeting.  It is this level of responsibility and commitment by the Board members to the Association that makes service to AIR such a pleasure.  I think this is a trait that past, present, and future AIR Boards share! 

 

Jennifer Brown
AIR President 

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.
 

 

 

Forum is Still Forum, Covering our Assets - March 2012

 

The 2012 AIR Forum (June 2-6) is just a few months away. While the primary hotel is already sold out, there is another fine hotel across the street for your convenience and comfort. I am looking forward to a great Forum in a great city, and I hope you are planning to be there.

One thing you might have noticed on the home page of the AIR website is the addition of the words "annual conference" in reference to Forum. This is to help new members or other interested visitors find the event more easily. The term "Forum" is not always recognizable to those searching for our annual meeting. We certainly do not want to give up our “AIR Forum” brand, but we do want people to find the event on our site with ease.
 

Following our face-to-face meeting in Orlando, the Board met for our usual monthly teleconference on March 6. We received the next of the scheduled monitoring reports on our policies, this time covering asset protection. This policy gives specific and clear direction to the Chief Executive Officer of the Association about the proper protection of assets, including the overall direction that “The CEO will not cause or allow corporate assets to be unprotected, inadequately maintained, or unnecessarily risked.” Within the policy, nine specific areas are listed, and each must be addressed in the annual CEO report to the Board. It is in this way that the operation of the Executive Office is more clearly and explicitly accountable to the members, through the elected Board, than it has ever been.

While this information may not be as exciting as a good Technical Review Panel report, or a list of IPEDS finance definitions, it is important to the Association and its members. As we have moved through this first year of work as a Board, I am very glad that we have in place clear directions and strong accountability.
 

Thank you to members who voted during the election, and congratulations to our new officers. AIR is very fortunate to have so many members willing to step up and participate in association governance. It is something few of us get the opportunity to do in our day jobs, and it is (among other things) a very good learning experience.

 Many thanks to Julie Carpenter-Hubin for taking the chair at our March 6 teleconference whilst I visited my dad in Suffolk, England. (No, it did not rain all the time!)
 

Jennifer Brown, AIR President

 

 Comments: 

 
To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.
 

 

 

Member Input Key to New Board Initiatives - February 2012 

 

First, thanks to a very hard working Nominations and Elections Committee for their great work this year under the leadership of Jim Trainer (immediate past president). Along with Jim, members Michelle Hall, Qing Lin Mack, Gary Pike, Phyllis Edamatsu, and Karen Webber reviewed a large number of nominations. They were happy to have so many eager to serve and had to make tough decisions about this year’s candidates. We are very grateful to all nominees and hope those of you who were not finalists this year will consider putting your name in again another year.

The Board meets face-to-face three times a year – at the annual Forum, in the fall, and in the spring. These meetings have full agendas, and our recent February meeting was no exception. We received training in the new AIR SharePoint software, which will provide better ways for us to collaborate by more easily sharing documents and discussions.
 

We also spent a considerable amount of time talking about the Board’s role at the Forum and the role of the Nominations and Elections Committee at the Forum. This will be the first Forum under the new governance system, and the "traditional" timetable and meetings are no longer necessary. There will, however, be an annual business meeting as required in the Constitution and Bylaws, as well as an Annual Report to the members that will include AIR financial information. As not all members attend the Forum, the Board is developing an Annual Report that can be shared more broadly. Any ideas you have on these topics would be appreciated.

As I have reported before, we have two hard working ad hoc Board committees that are primarily comprised of AIR members. One is the Awards Committee. This group is reviewing all the AIR awards and is developing a set of recommendations for the Board to make the awards more coherent, consistent, and focused on AIR’s core values. The other committee is examining the Code of Ethics. They will be gathering information from you at the Forum as part of their work, and will be making recommendations to the Board on updates and changes to the Code.
 

We are underway with our first project to gather the "voice of the members." This task is a new one for the AIR Board, which is enabled by the change in governance structure. In this effort, we are not focused on the present, but on the future. We will be asking members who have been in the profession for two to five years to talk about needs for their professional development over the next five years. We also will be talking to members who have spent more time in the profession and are in a position to hire incoming members and ask them for a "gap analysis" in their hiring experience. All this information will help the Board develop the Ends to be set for the work of the AIR Executive Director and his staff.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you and hope you are making plans to meet in New Orleans June 2 - 6 for our annual Forum.
 

Don’t forget to vote!

 

Jennifer

 

 Comments: 

 
To add a comment, Sign In
Total Comments: 1
 
Ruth posted on 4/29/2012 12:03 PM
Jennifer,

I greatly appreciate the information you plan to gather from professionals in the range of two to five years concerning their professional development. In addition, gathering similar data from professionals with greater than five years of experience in post-secondary and/or research.

I have just completed my master of science degree and am so grateful to AIR for serving as a guide to assist me in determining a career direction. I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal from those in the field.

I look forward to learning more after this data has been collected.

Much Appreciated,

Ruth Kunkle, M.S.
Drake University
School of Education
 

 

 

Board of Directors Update – January 2012  

It is hard to believe, but we have already completed the first six months under the new AIR Board structure, and progress is being made! This experience is testing all of us on the Board in our ability to think outside systems we are used to and ways of thinking we are used to. I am really pleased with what we are accomplishing and how we are learning to work with each other. We have moved our focus from  a particular committee’s tasks to the Association’s work as a whole, and that has been a very positive change. 
 
We are also delighted with the many improvements to our infrastructure taking place at the AIR executive offices. If you have not already checked out the new website – please do so. It is a great new look with easier navigation. Even more important for the long term is the investment in updated technology systems for managing the Association’s work. We are most grateful to AIR staff who spent time over the holidays working on this project. 
 
As we launch the new e-AIR, we want to express our thanks to Gayle Fink, e-AIR editor for 2010-2011. Gayle ensured that articles were obtained and organized in a timely fashion, and her Tech Tips have been useful to many e-AIR readers. From what I understand, Gayle will continue to play a role in coordinating Tech
Tips for e-AIR, so stay tuned. AIR would not be such a dynamic professional association without the time and talents of volunteers like Gayle. Thank you, Gayle, for continuing the tradition of the
oldest, continuous email newsletter in existence. 
 
As you can see, there are a lot of good things happening with your Association. However, there is one thing that has been troubling me. In every e-Air Board of Directors Update, I have asked you to contact me and/or other Board members with comments, questions, ideas etc. However, I have only been contacted twice thus far! I know that there must be some shy AIR members who refrain from expressing their opinions, but I have not met many!  Please do contact me at Jennifer.Brown@umb.edu at any time, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can. 
 
Happy New Year, Happy Chinese New Year, Happy Lunar New Year, and Happy spring semester! 
 
 

To add a comment, Sign In
There are no comments.