eAIR features include lead stories, interviews, opinion essays, and other content that fosters broad knowledge and appreciation of the diverse membership of AIR, and of the different professional contexts and activities in which members are engaged. The ideas and perspective expressed in the features are not necessarily the opinions of AIR. If you would like to suggest content for an eAIR feature, please contact email@example.com.
How can institutional researchers, many of whom have not been formally trained as educators, leverage their knowledge and skills, and those of their teams and others in their organization to train, coach, and educate? Some examples from the field, many presented at the recent TAIR conference, are shared in this article.
eAIR recently spoke with Charles Blaich and Kathy Wise from the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College about their work to help colleges and universities strengthen their assessment efforts, as well as support and assess liberal arts education..
What does the profile of the average Director of IR look like? Results from the National Survey of IR Offices, in combination with AIR’s membership data, outline the details.
Measurement of student outcomes can take many forms in higher education. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has led the way in developing a set of standards and protocols for collecting graduate outcomes.
eAIR spoke with Jolene Hamm, Director of Institutional Research, Piedmont Virginia Community College, about technology, reporting and accountability requirements, and student success at a two year institution.
The 2016 U.S. election has raised many new questions for practitioners, but central to the understanding of student political learning and engagement are objective behavioral measures. eAIR spoke with Nancy Thomas and Matt Gismondi for an update on the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).
In spring 2016, Data Bite explored the FTE of the director and professional IR staff and found a correlation between FTE and student enrollment. This month, those data are disaggregated by institutional sector to find if the correlation holds.
Throughout its more than 50-year history, AIR has involved itself in the process of defining institutional research as a profession and a critical function in higher education. AIR membership has continually explored the topic of the use of data and information in decision making in higher education. The Duties and Functions of Institutional Research identifies the areas necessary for an effective institutional research function in an institution, system, or organization
Michael Wrona is Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning at the University of South Florida. He spoke with eAIR about differences and similarities between IR offices at the community college level and those at a 4-year institution, as well as how different regions of the country approach IR work.
Over the next few months, Data Bite will explore the relationships between the IR Office and other institutional offices. This month, we’ll look at the support provided by the IR Office to the Finance Office.
A profession is more than a collection of tasks performed. At the AIR Executive Office, we challenge ourselves to help ensure that the definition of our profession isn’t limited to a list of tasks. It is from this line of inquiry that AIR built a new professional development opportunity: A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research.
eAIR spoke with Corey Wrinn, Director of Institutional Research at Choate Rosemary Hall, about impacting student success in his non-traditional IR role in a secondary school setting.
The burden of IPEDS decreases when we can get IPEDS to return value to us, and the various IPEDS tools do just that - they deliver value to campuses, especially for benchmarking and contextualizing our own data.
Are you part of the #IRWaterCooler? Are you in the know about #HiEdData? If you attended the recent #NEAIR16 annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland, you may have been introduced to these hashtags as a way to connect with IR professionals.
Over the past few months, Data Bite has explored the funding of the IR Office. In December, this feature explores how funding might change for the next academic year.
Researchers and program administrators need quality data with clear definitions to better understand the landscape and help identify necessary additions and changes to services at postsecondary institutions to ensure military student success.
Gayle Fink, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Bowie State University, spoke with eAIR about the Statement of Aspirational Practice for IR and the value of AIR membership.
Higher education has long been a third-tier campaign issue, but growing concerns about college affordability and rising student debt have catapulted higher education into the upper tier of policy issues. Tom Harnisch, Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, outlines the 2016 election's focus on higher education.
Late last month, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Times Higher Education (THE) released their inaugural ranking of more than 1,000 U.S. institutions—the WSJ/THE College Ranking. The organizations share a goal of providing students and families a new way to explore higher education options, with a specific focus on student success, including how colleges and universities add value to the student experience.
The AIR Affiliated (AO) Travel Grant was created to partner with AOs and serve the skill development needs of institutional researchers who might otherwise be unable to attend the Forum. eAIR spoke with five of the 30 winners of the 2016 grant about learning outcomes associated with their experience at the Forum.
In last month's Data Bite, we learned that 37 percent of directors of IR at public, two-year institutions report directly to the institution’s president/CEO. For the next couple of months we'll be exploring the financial resources of the IR Office.
With the IPEDS fall collection now open, you may be looking over the recently approved changes to the collection system for the current year. There are many changes to several of the IPEDS survey components and many of the tools have received updates to enhance usage in the public domain. Eric S. Atchison, Director of System Analysis, Research, and Enrollment Management at Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, and an IPEDS Coordinator, helps answer questions such as "How did these changes come about?” and “How can I get involved and be in-the-know about changes to the IPEDS data collection?”
Recently, the Chinese AIR in Changsha, China, hosted a conference at which several AIR and OCAIR members presented sessions. AIR member Shuguang Wei was one of the major organizers of the event, which was attended by more than 600 Chinese IR professionals. eAIR spoke with Shuguang as well as several OCAIR/AIR members, including Ruan Hoe, Yuerong Sweetland, Yan Wang, and Faxian Yang, who braved the long trip to bridge the communication gap and support the rapidly developing field of IR in China.
AIR found that 19 percent of directors of IR at public, two-year institutions report directly to their institution’s provost/CAO (compared to 46 percent and 38 percent for directors of IR
at private, not-for-profit, four-year institutions and public, four-year institutions, respectively). The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities and to document the characterizations of IR Offices. Each month, eAIR features a snapshot of data from the results of that survey.
With increased demand for data and information, and reduced resources for community colleges, how can IR and IE professionals not only survive, but thrive and collaborate to expand the capacity to provide data and information for decision making? On August 2, 2016, a working group led by NCCCS held the Excellence in Research and Analytics Summit at the SAS Executive Briefing Center to tackle this and other difficult questions.
Kathleen Shaw is Vice Provost for Planning and Decision Support (OPDS), and Valerie Holton is Director of Community-Engaged Research (DCE), both at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). They spoke with eAIR about the consulting role of institutional research
, partnership in support of the university’s mission, and how collaboration allows for greater capacity.
AIR found that 77% of public or private, not-for-profit institutions have IR offices
within the Provost/Chief Academic Officer division (51%) or in the President/CEO division (26%). The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities and to document the characterizations of IR Offices. Each month, eAIR features a snapshot of data from the results of that survey.
During the opening keynote for the 2016 AIR Forum, David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), shared his reflections on higher education in the new normal of the 21st century.
Mary Sapp, Associate Provost for Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment, University of Miami, Retired, spoke with eAIR about what's on the horizon for the future of IR and getting the most out of your AIR membership.
The Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research has prompted me to rethink my philosophy of institutional research. Over the last year, I have begun to integrate its ideas into my daily practice, while always thinking about what more we could be doing institutionally to better align ourselves with all of the aspirational concepts.
The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities and to document the characterizations of IR Offices. Each month, eAIR features a snapshot of data from the results of that survey. This month, we take a look at the Net Price Calculator.
Last month, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) released a series of 11 papers envisioning a national postsecondary education data ecosystem for the 21st century. The papers are the result of a year-long effort to think differently about the way information is collected and disseminated about students and institutions to meet the increasingly complex needs of the higher education community.
The Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research challenges IR professionals to initiate discussion about how institutions can place data at the center of all discussions. At the 2016 Forum in New Orleans, AIR hosted an Impact Session to further the conversation encouraged by the aspirational statement. You are invited to watch the Forum Impact Session, It Started with a Conversation: A Practical Guide to the Statement of Aspirational Practice for IR, which is available to you at no cost.
Marin Clarkberg, Director of Institutional Research, Cornell University, and current immediate past chair of the AAU Data Exchange Council, spoke with eAIR about assisting institutions abroad in establishing IR functions, using Tableau, and deploying a fact book.
A newly released Change magazine article produced by AIR entitled A New Vision for Institutional Research presents concepts which are not a prediction of some distant future, but rather a reflection of the current environment in higher education.
The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities and to document the characterizations of IR Offices. Each month, eAIR features a snapshot of data from the results of that survey. This month, we look at student FTE of less than 5,000.
With the explosion of college completion projects in recent years, reverse transfer has been used to indicate a certain population and process: resident four-year college students who transferred from community colleges without associate’s degrees but who accumulated enough credits to send back to their initial two-year institutions for retroactive award of an associate’s degree.
In a time of declining budgets and increasing calls for accountability and assessment in higher education, the Statement of Aspirational Practice for IR has enabled the office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ) at UW-Stout to engage campus stakeholders in an effort to find opportunities for improvement and refine programs and processes.
Dhushy Sathianathan, Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Planning at California State University-Long Beach, spoke with eAIR about “data fellows” - faculty, staff, and administrators in the colleges/departments and units - who meet twice monthly to share ideas.
The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities. The purpose of the survey was to document the characterizations of IR Offices, including scope of work, reporting lines, staffing, and fiscal resources. Each month, eAIR will feature a snapshot of data from the results of that survey.
AIR awards recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the Association and the IR profession through their leadership, service, and scholarship. AIR celebrates the 2016 award recipients.
Findings from the National Survey of Institutional Research Offices include information about IR office reporting structures, staffing, responsibilities, and financial resources at not-for-profit institutions.
Sandi Bramblett, Executive Director, Institutional Research and Planning/ Decision Support Services, shared how she is using the Statement of Aspirational Practice for IR for practical applications at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Ben Castleman, Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia,spoke with eAIR about his new book, predictive analytics, and improving the lives of others. He will present Data-driven behavioral nudges: A low-cost strategy to improve postsecondary education at the 2016 ARI Forum.
Last month, AIR convened leaders from the higher education community to discuss the importance of data in decision making. The video recordings of the IR summit are now available for viewing.
Institutional research was featured on the national stage at the recent IR Summit in Washington, DC. On March 9, 2016, AIR 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.
Bob Daly, Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus at the University of California-Riverside, spoke with eAIR about the future of IR.
Recently, IHEP released a report, Making Sense of Student Loan Outcomes: How Using Repayment Rates Can Improve Student Success, which examines the evolution of loan repayment rates and how such measures may prove useful – and for whom.
Since 2012, the member-written IR in the Know has featured brief write-ups related to data collection, analyses, and reporting, with links to more detailed information.
This month, the Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research will be released.The Statement establishes a future-oriented vision of high-quality institutional research practices centered on student success. It is a response to myriad disruptive innovations in higher education, including new technologies, new business structures, and new data, all of which increase capacity for information that supports decision making.
What tasks are common in the work of senior institutional research (IR) leaders? How do tasks differ by IR office size? As part of the effort to document the current state of IR, AIR sought to identify the tasks involved in the work of IR across all titles and variations represented in its membership. Position descriptions for vacant positions were used to create a draft typology of IR work tasks. A survey of AIR members determined the relevance of the tasks and the frequency with which the tasks are done and by whom.
In 2015, the American Council on Education and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education launched a partnership to elevate dialogue and action in support of military-connected student success. In this article, Andrew Morse, Director, Policy Research and Advocacy, NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Dani Molina, Senior Program and Research Manager, American Council on Education, share some of thier work on this important topic.
Craig Abbey, Associate Vice President and Director of Institutional Analysis at the University at Buffalo, spoke with eAIR about research enterprises and complex issues and trends.
The 2015 Update to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is now available for public review. Functionally, the public review site allows the user to look up individual institutions and consult the definitions (descriptions and methodologies) for the various classifications.
AIR member Gina Johnson, currently on leave from her position as Executive Director of Institutional Research and Analysis at the University of Denver to serve as AIR’s Strategy Director for IR Capacity Initiatives, was asked to share her perspective on the three most highly viewed eAIR articles of 2015.
AIR recently announced a new partnership with the Access Group Center for Research & Policy AnalysisSM to support higher education. The Research and Dissertation Fellows Program is a grant competition promoting scholarship on issues related to access, affordability, and the value of legal education specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly.
Public institutions using Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards to report IPEDS data will notice an unanticipated change in the 2015-16 Finance survey component form. Recently, GASB added unfunded pension liabilities to its reporting standards.
The much-anticipated College Scorecard, designed to provide consumer information to assist students in choosing the best college, was released in September 2015. The tool allows users to search for institutions by name and by factors such as cost, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment data.
The new Outcome Measures (OM) IPEDS survey component opens December 9, 2015, as part of the winter IPEDS collection period. With a detailed overview of the component, links to helpful IPEDS resources, and video tutorials, the AIR website is your starting point for learning about OM data reporting and how it will impact your campus.
Shari Ellertson and Nick Warcholak, Office of Institutional Research, Boise State University, recently had a surprise visit from an interested Boise State parent, Marty. All three spoke with eAIR about their unique interaction and what they learned that day.
Felice Billups' article, The Quest for Rigor in Qualitative Studies: Strategies for Institutional Researchers, originally appeared in The NERA Researcher in 2014. Billups outlines the definitions and descriptions of trustworthiness, followed by recommendations for ways in which institutional researchers can incorporate these strategies.
Bobby Sharp, longtime AIR member, shares his perspective about the components of a successful search to hire an IR director, including timing, candidates' backgrounds, and key skills necessary for the role.
Kang Bai, Assistant Provost, Southeast Missouri State University and Ying Zhou, Associate Provost, East Carolina University, spoke with eAIR about the benefits of attending and presenting at the Forum and being two of the 19 winners of the 2015 AIR Affiliated Organization (AO) Travel Grant.
AIR staff members interviewed 122 first-time members during the first quarter of 2015. Members were asked about their most rewarding and challenging experiences in the last three months of their current position, the member benefits they utilize, and other ways AIR could enhance their professional development.
John Pryor is founder and principal of Pryor Education Insights and one of the leading experts in college survey research at both the national and local level. He spoke with eAIR about communicating information effectively and providing the insight that makes it relevant.
More than 2,000 individuals gathered at the 2015 AIR Forum in in Denver, Colorado, May 26–29, 2015, and 34 percent of them had attended at least five previous Forums. Many conference participants offered comments about how they value the Forum.
Tim Stanley, Associate Director of Institutional Research and Information at Utah Valley University, presented workshops and sessions at the recent AIR Forum in Denver, Colorado, covering topics such as Tableau, Excel, and FERPA and its role in IR. He spoke with eAIR about the power of data.
AIR is pleased to share a valuable resource for institutional researchers: All members are invited to view the 2015 Forum keynote speaker presentation by Roger Schwarz at no cost.
Eric Atchison is an Institutional Research Analyst at Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning. During the recent AIR Forum in Denver, Colorado, Eric presented the Pre-Forum Workshop: Enrollment Forecasting in Excel. Eric spoke with eAIR about enrollment forecasting, IPEDS, and volunteering with AIR.
Institutional research professionals use social media
as a way to share information within the higher education community. In a recent survey, AIR set out to learn more about how social media is used for IR-related activities. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they use some form of social media for professional reasons.
Shari Ellertson is Director of Institutional Research at Boise State University. She presented sessions on building institutional capacity to conduct assessment and teaching others to write effective outcomes at the 2015 Forum in Denver this past May. Shari spoke with eAIR about
assessment and creating meaningful learning outcomes.
Are you involved in developing or implementing a data warehouse? In a recent AIR survey, of the the one-third of campus and system IR respondents who say their institution doesn’t use a data warehouse currently, 60% say that there are plans to implement one.
is Senior Vice President for Strategy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH), and is responsible for developing the overall strategic plan for NYPH including both clinical and corporate plans. Emme will present the closing keynote address at the AIR 2015 Forum in Denver, Colorado. Emme spoke with eAIR about the parallels between higher education and health care reform.
If your IR office struggles with selecting the best method for delivering information to multiple stakeholders or some of your organization’s data capacities are stronger than others, there is good news; other industries share in these data-related challenges.
Roger Schwarz is a recognized thought leader in the realm of team leadership. An organizational psychologist and President and CEO of Roger Schwarz & Associates, he is a sought-after advisor to global companies, federal government agencies, and international non-profit organizations. Roger will present the opening keynote address at the AIR 2015 Forum in Denver, Colorado.
Each year, AIR members recognize their colleagues who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the Association and to the institutional research profession. AIR celebrates the 2015 recipients of the Outstanding Service Award and Sidney Suslow Scholar Award.
AIR is pleased to announce the 2014 Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award winners.
How much time and effort do you put into the Common Data Set (CDS) and how do you use the information after it is submitted? AIR recently conducted a survey to determine members’ time investment in the reporting of CDS data and the ways they use the information that they collect.
In February, the AIR Executive Office had the honor of hosting Satoko Fukahori, of Japan’s National Institute of Educational Policy Research. She joined AIR while taking a tour of U.S. centers of education in an effort to investigate IR offices and learn more about the assessment data they collect and analyze.
The Research in Higher Education (RIHE) Special Forum Issue is available for all AIR members at no cost.
Higher education continues to be pressured to report information to a wide variety of stakeholders to use for decisions. Campuses are responding to increased requests from federal and state education departments, senior campus leaders, and even current and prospective students. AIR conducted a survey in fall 2014 to determine members’ top IR priorities for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Last fall, AIR’s Executive Office staff took part in a 10-week initiative to learn more about the work done by our members. The staff conducted “check-in” phone interviews with 203 members to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day duties of AIR members.
Jonathan Gagliardi, Deputy Director of the National Association of System Heads (NASH), spoke with eAIR about an ongoing NASH project that examines public system/campus roles in institutional research, and shared lessons learned to date.
Cate Rowen, Executive Director of Institutional Research at Smith College, recently helped develop a statement that encourages IR offices to lead or support efforts to bring data to guide campus decision making with regard to sexual assault. She spoke with eAIR about how IR professionals can assist with campus climate studies, including student surveys.
IR budgets and expenditures vary greatly across institutions. In a recent survey of AIR members on business intelligence and the IR office budget, 32% of respondents expect their IR offices’ budgets to expand over the next three years, and 69% of respondents said that analytical software expenditures are paid entirely or partially by their IR office budgets.
AIR member Christopher M. Mullin reviewed the documentary Ivory Tower: Is College Worth the Cost?, which will be featured at the 2015 AIR Forum in Denver.
Jerold (Raldy) Laguilles
is the Coordinator of Institutional Research at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. Raldy received the 2014 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) H.S. Warwick Research Award in Alumni Relations for Education Advancement. Raldy has been an AIR member for nine years and was awarded a Fellowship for Graduate Study in 2008 and participated in the National Data Institute in 2009. He talks about his recent research and his professional development experiences with AIR.
An AIR campus climate workgroup explored the Association’s role in national conversations about sexual assault on college campuses. The group tracked developments in the field and prepared a statement that addresses how institutional research professionals can be involved in campus-level strategies for addressing sexual violence. Read the workgroup's statement and learn what you should do next.
Business intelligence is growing in popularity in higher education, and IR professionals will be impacted. In a recent survey of AIR members, 53% of respondents said they anticipate a role change in IR within the next three years, and 38% of respondents anticipate that IR will evolve toward being more strategic.
Shajeel Imran Khokhar is the Assessment Officer in the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) in the Offices of Assessment and Institutional Research at Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan. He spoke with eAIR about his experience as an international IR professional participating in AIR educational events.
Effectively preparing students for the workforce and meeting the needs of employers are integral parts of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) mission. To gauge its effectiveness in these areas, KCTCS began performing regular matches of educational records and Kentucky’s unemployment insurance data in 2005. MORE.
Zhao Yang’s article How Technology May Change the Horizon of IR
originally appeared in the OCAIR Newsletter (June 2014, Vol. 18). Yang explores the future of the field and questions whether IR will evolve or if it will become obsolete. MORE.
Sonia Schaible-Brandon is Director of Institutional Research at Colorado Mesa University. She serves as a lead instructor for the workshop IPEDS Data as the Public Face of an Institution. Sonia spoke with eAIR about the workshop and shared examples of how IPEDS data are used in the public domain.
The 2015 AIR Forum Call for Proposals will open in just a few days. As you plan your proposal, it may help to review a list of hot topics from the 2014 Forum, as indicated by the 10 concurrent sessions with the highest ratings and greatest attendance. MORE.
In 2014, President Obama created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, which recommended that colleges and universities address the issue of sexual assault in three ways. AIR recently conducted a survey to determine members’ awareness of the Task Force and found that 75% of senior institutional research/institutional effectiveness respondents have limited or no awareness. MORE.
Choosing the correct business intelligence software solution for your institution can be challenging. In a recent survey of AIR members, 68% of respondents said their IR offices either participate in decisions or are the decision makers in choosing their institutions’ BI solutions, and 74% of respondents note their ideal software tools would provide access to all required data. MORE.
Lei Wang is Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Tallahassee Community College (TCC), with nearly 20 years of experience in institutional planning, research, and effectiveness and education policy research. She spoke with eAIR about the growing importance of IR.
AIR is pleased to share a valuable resource for institutional researchers: All members are invited to view the 2014 Forum keynote speaker presentation by Lee LeFever at no cost.
More than 2,000 individuals engaged in the work of institutional research, assessment, and planning gathered at the 2014 AIR Forum in Orlando May 27-30. Many conference participants offered comments about how they value Forum.
Enjoy browsing photo memories from the largest AIR Forum ever.
AIR recently conducted a survey of members to determine institutions’ use of business intelligence (BI) and members’ roles in BI. The survey focused on three key areas: key performance indicators (KPIs), BI software, the changing IR role, and IR budgets. AIR members reported that most higher education institutions are adopting key performance indicators (KPIs), and institutional researchers are leaders in the use of KPIs. 90% of respondents indicated that KPIs are important to their institutions, and 41% said KPIs originated in IR. LEARN MORE.
is the Director of Institutional Research at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She was awarded the 2013 Edward Delaney Scholarship and attended her first AIR Forum in 2013. She spoke with eAIR about that experience and the year leading up to the 2014 Forum in Orlando.
CUPA-HR’s Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey provides median salary data for Chief Institutional Researchers (CIR). Data across survey years indicate salary increases between 2-3% over each of the past three years. LEARN MORE.
is Assistant Director in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at The University of Texas System. She has worked in a wide variety of settings, including campuses, associations, the federal government, and a state university system, and spoke with eAIR about commonalities, complexities, and frustrations throughout the higher education enterprise.
A recent National Association of System Heads (NASH) study illuminates the work of IR at state system offices and the institutions that report to system offices. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and included a national survey conducted by AIR. LEARN MORE about the study findings and download the NASH report.
Ryan Cherland is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Institutional Research and Decision Support at University of California, Irvine. He spoke with eAIR about his commitment to exploring innovative uses of data as an integral component in his role of decision support.
Each year, AIR members recognize their colleagues who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the Association and to the institutional research profession. AIR celebrates the 2014 recipients of the Outstanding Service Award, John E. Stecklein Distinguished Member Award, and Sidney Suslow Scholar Award.
The Research in Higher Education (RIHE) Special Forum Issue is available for all AIR members at no cost.
Do you face the challenge of describing study results to audience members with varied levels of familiarity of the topic at hand? Do you wonder how best to present your analyses when some individuals have sophisticated understandings of the methodologies employed, and others are interested solely in findings and recommendations? Lee LeFever, founder of Common Craft and author of The Art of Explanation, spoke with eAIR about ways in which institutional researchers can make data and analyses easier to understand while maintaining defensibility. MORE
Savvy AIR members are watching the development of a rating system that may connect IPEDS data to student financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education is developing the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS) in response to the Obama Administration's call to publish a new system before the 2015-2016 academic year. LEARN MORE.
What do we know about student voter registration and voting rates? eAIR spoke with Nancy Thomas to get an update on the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement.
The Completion by Design (CBD) Pathway Analyses Toolkit shares resources that inform changes to processes, practices, and policies that influence student success. LEARN MORE.
The updated National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) launched in 2013. eAIR spoke with Alexander McCormick and Robert Gonyea of about the changes and resulting opportunities for colleges and universities.
The Student Achievement Measure (SAM) Project is an alternative to the federal graduation rate, which often underreports student achievement because it does not account for an increasingly mobile student population. LEARN MORE.
Fred Lillibridge is Associate Vice President for Accreditation, Compliance and Planning at New Mexico State University Doña Ana Community College and AIR Past President (2006-2007). He reflects on AIR’s efforts to document the work that defines institutional research across all titles and variations represented in the AIR membership.
We captured the first 10 of the 546 proposals submitted for the 2014 Forum to take the temperature of IR and anticipate topics of interest at the conference in Orlando. MORE.
Andrew Q. Morse is Educational Policy Analyst, Board of Governors, State University System of Florida. He spoke with eAIR about myth-busting, navigating the complexities of higher education, and the art of preparing conference proposals.
AIR announces the winners of the 2013 Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award.
A recent AIR survey explored the extent to which institutional researchers use and maintain dashboards to communicate data. Over half of respondents (54%) indicated that their offices manage one or more dashboard. The IR office has primary responsibility for maintaining dashboards (82%), demonstrating that many IR offices have the staff talent needed to do this work. READ MORE.Kurt Slobodzian, Vice President of Research, Nexus Research and Policy Center, spoke with eAIR about the future of online education, analytics, and MORE.
AIR members reported mixed impact of last year’s release of the Data Feedback Report (DFR). A recent survey of a sample of AIR members could help you prepare for this year’s DFR release in October. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions. Jan W. Lyddon is a Data Coach for Achieving the Dream and a consultant affiliated with Organizational Effectiveness Consultants and the Collaborative Brain Trust. an W. Lyddon is a Data Coach for Achieving the Dream and a consultant affiliated with Organizational Effectiveness Consultants and the Collaborative Brain Trust. She spoke with eAIR about learning to be a critical listener, the importance of abstract thinking, and the ability to connect the dots.
Twenty-eight AIR members had secrets at the 2013 Forum in Long Beach when they served as AIR Secret Shoppers. Read MORE to learn about their experiences and discover ways in which secret shopping can inform your work in IR.
Angie Choi is a full-time higher education administrator and a part-time doctoral student. She spoke with eAIR about her use of national data in both roles, and offered suggestions for individuals hesitant to work with large datasets.
In a recent AIR survey, 48% of respondents noted that they are very or somewhat familiar with the College Affordability and Transparency List, 33% are not familiar with it, and 20% have never heard of it. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
As part of Broward College’s commitment to a culture of inquiry and evidence, Rigoberto Rincones-Gómez is implementing The Data Ambassadors Initiative. eAIR spoke with him to learn more about this unique approach.
We are living in the era of large datasets. In her essay, Using Large Datasets, Patricia Windham explores how to move from a “see what all I have” mode to a data use mode. Read more and join the conversation about transforming data into information, and using that information to make decisions.
In celebration of NDIR's Global Issues in Institutional Research special issue (Spring 2013), eAIR interviewed Angel Calderon and Karen L. Webber to learn about their goals for the publication and their experience editing an issue of NDIR.
The role of IR in accreditation was a frequent theme at the 2013 Forum in Long Beach, and recent research on the position descriptions of AIR members revealed more than 200 IR tasks associated with accreditation. What’s the future of IR work in accreditation? READ MORE.
South Georgia State College’s Diane Blum and Danielle Buehrer recently completed the AIR Data and Decisions® Academy curriculum and were celebrated as Distinguished Honor Students at the 2013 Forum. They spoke with eAIR about their Academy experiences, how they have learned to work “smarter, not harder,” and their plans for future learning adventures.
In her Reflections on the AIR Forum, Claire Goverts shares her experience as a first-time participant and explains how what she learned applies to her work at SUNY College at Brockport.
Can you trust national data? Are the data available to institutional researchers reliable? AIR asked a random sample of members to rate the quality of 11 large-scale data sets often used in IR studies. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
As a Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University, Robert A. Schwartz shares his perspective on how people "find" IR and offers an “elevator ride” explanation for why participation in an IR certificate program is valuable.
AIR is pleased to announce that John F. Ryan, Director of Institutional Research at the University of Vermont, has been named the incoming Editor of New Directions for Institutional Research (NDIR).
Assessment illuminates the core of the higher education enterprise—that is, assessment helps colleges and universities tell the story of student learning. In order to explore how well we are doing in this arena, eAIR spoke with George Kuh.
As conversations about higher education become more global, institutional researchers benefit from shared learning about the challenges and opportunities facing colleges and universities around the world. In preparation for the International IR Caucus at the 2013 Forum, eAIR asked AIR International Ambassadors to reflect on changes they anticipate for institutional research in their countries in 2013.
Each year, AIR members recognize their colleagues who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the Association and to the institutional research profession. AIR celebrates the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Service Award, John E. Stecklein Distinguished Member Award, and Sidney Suslow Scholar Award.
The Research In Higher Education Special Forum Issue is available for all AIR members at no cost.
Amanda Yale introduced Kevin McCarthy to institutional research when she recognized that his interests and talents would be a good fit for the field. Together they discuss the importance of collaboration in a “culture of performance”—the type of campus collaboration that helped their university achieve significant goals and also shaped the paths that led them to IR.
The career paths that lead to institutional research are varied. As a result, the shared learning experiences available to AIR members are rich and diverse. To that end, eAIR asked members of the AIR Board of Directors to reflect on their careers and share advice they wish they had received as new professionals. READ MORE and share your insight.
AIR launches a new member benefit - the eLibrary.
AIR announces the 2012 winners of the Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award.
AIR members know that the “talk around D.C.” often results in new work on our desks— “trickle down” is not just an economic term. It is smart to keep an eye on the federal government scene, and to that end, eAIR asked four Washington data policy insiders to predict what is coming in 2013. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions
A new tool is available that allows institutional researchers to learn how many of your students registered to vote, voted, and how (absentee or regular ballot) in 2012. These data can drive conversations about the effectiveness of civic learning experiences on campus and about increasing student political engagement in 2014 and 2016. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions
Junchao Zhang and Min Chen discuss IR work in China and reflect on their recent visit to the U.S.
A recent AIR survey explored whether members are up to date with FERPA. Among respondents, 45% indicated that understanding FERPA is essential to their work, and 40% indicated that some knowledge of FERPA is helpful. However, less than 40% of respondents reported high levels of comfort with FERPA. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
A recent survey of AIR members explored awareness and knowledge of the new IPEDS HR categories. Forty-four percent of survey respondents reported that they are involved in their institutions’ conversions to the new IPEDS HR occupational categories, and 28% reported they are unaware of the new HR categories. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
Cory Clasemann talks about how his inquisitive nature and background in broadcast journalism are natural fits for a career in institutional research.
A recent report by the Delta Cost Project highlights findings from a study of college spending and attrition, including the discovery that “roughly 20 percent of education and related spending in higher education results from attrition.” Of particular interest to IR professionals is the methodology offered to assign “institutional production costs to attrition” and related benchmarks. READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
Laura Saunders shares how she uses data in her role as a college president and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a broad perspective.
Natalie Snow reflects on the role of trust in institutional research and shares the IR moment that “just about made [her] lifetime."
Analytics is a growing part of higher education vernacular. Questions abound: What is it? How is it defined? Are IR professionals expected to be masters of analytics? Is it a buzzword or a way of doing business? In August 2012, the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) issued a report entitled Analytics in Higher Education: Benefits, Barriers, Progress, and Recommendations. The report emphasizes that “analytics itself is not the end goal. Rather, analytics is a tool used in addressing strategic problems or questions.” READ MORE and share your thoughts and questions.
Chris Mullin discusses his work in the policy arena and highlights the importance of engaging in professional development throughout one’s career.
William Knight reflects on his career, shares what inspires him, and offers insight for new institutional research professionals.
What are your thoughts about the U.S. Department of Education's new Shopping Sheet
In his essay, The Future of Institutional Research: Business Intelligence, E. Rob Stirton encourages institutional researchers to look to leading businesses for techniques that can inform our practices in higher education. Readers are invited to join a conversation about the role of BI in the future of IR.
Dr. Mihir shares his experience at the recent National Data Institute and reflects on the role of institutional research in his personal journey.
AIR congratulates Stephen L. DesJardins, Mary Ann Coughlin, Patrick T. Terenzini, as well as Siew C. Ang, Stephanie Corliss, and Dawn Zimmaro. Our 2012 Award Winners were honored at the Forum for their accomplishments and their contributions to the Association and the field of institutional research.
Learn more about Julia M. Duckwall and the scholarship fund, now fully endowed, established in her name.
Learn more about AIR visiting scholar Shuguang Wei of Wuhan, China.
Dawn Geronimo Terkla describes what she enjoys about her role as an academic advisor and how it informs her work in institutional research.
In his essay, Finding a Seat at the Table, G.L. Donhardt advocates for change in the IR profession and calls for inclusion of chief IR officers at the highest levels of campus decision making. Readers are invited to join a conversation about what it means to find a seat at the executive tables on their campuses.
Cynthia B. Gray reflects on her role as an IPEDS Trainer and offers encouragement for new and seasoned IPEDS users.
In celebration of the release of The Association for Institutional Research: The First 50 Years, eAIR interviewed Gary Rice, Project Coordinator, and Mary Ann Coughlin, Co-Editor, to learn about the genesis and meaning of the project.
The Obama administration is proposing a new addition to the College Affordability and Transparency Center - The White House College Scorecard. Readers are invited to learn more and join a conversation about the instrument and its potential impact on IR.
Glenn Gabbard describes the work of a higher education resource center dedicated to social justice in a diverse democracy.
eAIR interviewed Andrew J. Mauk: What happens when a student affairs doctoral student completes an IR Certificate? He gets a job he loves!
Michael F. Middaugh, a former Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, reflects both on the roles of math classes and friendship throughout his career in IR.