• Media Release
  • 11.21.22

With $500,000 Grant, Higher Education Associations Will Help Colleges and Universities Accelerate Analytics Use


Funding from the Gates Foundation will support student success efforts

November 21, 2022 (Washington, DC)—The Association for Institutional Research (AIR), EDUCAUSE, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help colleges and universities leverage data and analytics to advance student success.

The grant work will focus on supporting historically underserved student populations while identifying ways for institutions to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness. The project will culminate in a succinct, actionable guide to assist higher education institutions in building data-informed cultures and enhancing capacity for leveraging analytics. A diverse cohort of colleges and universities will be invited to help the associations develop the guide, which will focus on creating an institutional culture that translates data into action.

“Effective analytics capacity development requires collaboration,” said AIR Executive Director and CEO Christine M. Keller. “This project will align our three associations around an issue that is critical to student success. Having institutional researchers, IT professionals, and business officers collaborate on this project will help break down institutional silos that often hamper data use.”

AIR, EDUCAUSE, and NACUBO have a long record of working to help institutions better leverage data. In 2019, the three associations released the Joint Statement on Analytics, a call-to-action for higher education officers to use data with six guiding principles.

“The 2019 Joint Statement sparked great discussions around the use of data and analytics in higher education,“ said EDUCAUSE President and CEO John O’Brien. “However, we also heard from colleges and universities that they need support in building their analytics capacities—they need to know where to start and how to enhance their abilities to make data-informed decisions that support students and propel the institution’s mission.”

To create a comprehensive guide, the initiative will include higher education leaders from institutions at various phases of analytics adoption—from schools that are just beginning to examine data to those routinely leveraging it to support mission-critical decisions.

“Engaging a diverse group of college and university leaders will help ensure that the guide meets institutions where they are,” said NACUBO Interim President and CEO Lynne Schaefer. “This support from the Gates Foundation will allow us to meet our commitment to advance student success at institutions at all levels of analytics maturity.”

For more information or to speak with an association president, please contact one of the following media representatives:

Jenny Chu, AIR Senior Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, 850-391-3966   

Marc Stith, EDUCAUSE Director of Marketing Communications and Media Relations, 720-218-1240

Katy McCreary, NACUBO Director of Public Relations, 202-861-2503 


About AIR
The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) represents a worldwide community of institutional research, institutional effectiveness, and other decision-support professionals. AIR empowers higher education professionals to effectively and ethically use data for better decisions through education and professional development, research, and collective action. For more information, visit www.airweb.org.

EDUCAUSE is a community of IT leaders and professionals working together to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities that are constantly evolving within higher education. EDUCAUSE welcomes diversity, in viewpoints and experience, and believes in the transformative power of uncommon thinking for the common good. Learn more at www.educause.edu.

NACUBO, founded in 1962, is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO works to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions. For more information, visit www.nacubo.org