IR Summit: A National Commitment to Data

Institutional research was featured on the national stage at the recent IR Summit in Washington, DC. On March 9, 2016, the Association for Institutional Research invited 70 postsecondary leaders from higher education organizations, presidential associations, government agencies, accrediting bodies, philanthropic groups, and others to join voices in promoting the field of IR. Thought leaders gathered to talk about the importance of data in higher education overall, and IR in support of student success specifically.

The IR Summit highlighted a future-oriented vision of IR that calls for broader support for all decision makers (including administrators, faculty, staff, and students), and strategic leadership for data and IR in the quest to promote student success. The foundation of this national conversation was the newly released Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research. ​A shared commitment to data brought these organizations together. Central to the conversation was the necessity for IR to continue to evolve in order to support student success as one of its many roles in the higher education enterprise. A variety of perspectives were considered as part of the dialog about the opportunities and challenges institutions face when building IR and data capacity.

The culmination of the IR Summit was appreciation of the critical role IR plays in helping to ensure that institutions are poised to fulfill their missions—including support of student success—while meeting the needs of decision makers and stakeholders in the ever-changing landscape of higher education.

Note: The IR Summit was recorded, and content will be shared with the higher education community in spring 2016. Visit the IR Summit page for more information about the event. Also, a report on the National Survey of IR Offices is forthcoming.

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Total Comments: 2
David posted on 3/17/2016 2:04 PM
Hummm. Certainly appears to be by far and away representing only the public sectors of higher ed. No representation of the independent sector?? maybe I've got this wrong. Am I just missing it? Or was there none (at least very nearly none)?
Mike posted on 3/17/2016 7:46 PM
From the list, I count: CIC, Ithaca College, Our Lady of the Lake University, and Villanova University. But even discounting the independent vs public sector question, representation from colleges was far outweighed by representation from non-institutional entities. Barely 1/4 of the listed participants are from an actual college or university; even if one includes associations such as CIC, ACE, etc. it's well under half.

But perhaps I am misconstruing the nature of the summit. It can be a good thing to get ideas and observations from outsiders. Still, I would feel better about the "IR summit" if it had had more actual institutional researchers in attendance. Or, if this summit was about bigwigs who are going to be telling institutional researchers what they're supposed to be doing, then I would feel better if it had more of our supervisors in attendance: deans, provosts, presidents, etc.