Opening Day


Tuesday Impact Sessions 

Tuesday afternoon kicks off the 2019 Forum with a series of invited Impact Sessions focused on a wide range of emerging and important topics and issues with impact for everyone in higher education fields. These sessions are open to all registered Forum attendees and are included in your regular Forum registration. Impact Sessions include lecture and panel presentations followed by interactive discussions. Impact Sessions are scheduled in two time blocks: from 1:00 PM-2:30 PM and 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Please check back for additional details and updates to the sessions listed below.  

1:00-2:30 PM

Impact Session Block A

  • Data Governance: How IR Serves as Stewards of Data and Information

    Presenters: Adnan Ahmed, University of Calgary; Colleen Wynn, Claremont McKenna College; Kristin Yates, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

    Data Governance involves managing the availability, usability, security, and integrity of data across an organization. Because each institution or system of higher education is different, there is no one method for successful data governance. Promising practices encourage a governing body, a set of procedures, and a plan for executing the procedures. It is an inherently collaborative process, but who should take the lead? And what role can IR play in data governance? This session will explore the role of institutional research as stewards of data and information through participation or leadership in the data governance process. 

  • IPEDS Update

    Speaker: Tara Lawley, National Center for Education Statistics 

    This session provides a general update on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). A review of the 2018-19 collection year, information about changes for the 2019-20 collection, and an overview of Research and Development are provided.

  • Strong Leadership: Integrating IR, IE, and Assessment into the Institution

    Panelists: Charlie Blaich, HEDS and Center for Inquiry at Wabash College; Sandi Bramblett, Georgia Tech; Mary Ann Coughlin, Springfield College; Brent Drake, University of Nevada-Las Vegas  Moderator: Archie Cubarrubia, Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust 

    This session will explore the many facets of leadership inherent in the fields of IR, IE, and assessment. Topics of exploration will include: collaborating across campus, leading in times of crisis, leading from the middle, motivating teams, co-creating a vision and mission for the data and information function and defining its role, and creative ways of expanding data and information capacity. A panel of experienced leaders from the field will share their perspectives on developing and utilizing leadership skills to integrate IR, IE, and assessment into the successful functioning of the institution. 

  • The Changing Nature of Enrollment Projections

    Presenters: Ozlem Kacira, Pima Community College; Patrick Lane, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE); Yuko Mulugetta, Ithaca College; Jason Simon, University of North Texas

    Institutional researchers often collaborate with their colleagues in enrollment to use data and information to predict which students will matriculate and persist, helping their institution or system better plan for all the areas impacted by increases or decreases in enrollments. With shifting demographics, including projected declines in the number of students graduating high school in many parts of the U.S. in coming years, how are IR professionals adjusting these projection models? This session will explore new practices and unknowns in the future of projecting enrollments. 

3:00-4:30 PM

Impact Session Block B

  • An Exploration: What is IR?

    Panelists: Rachana Bhatt, University System of Georgia; Narren Brown, South Central College; Jonathan Gagliardi, Lehman College; Reshe Hines, Stetson University; Junelyn Peeples, Scripps College

    Moderator: Christine Keller, AIR 

    Institutional research (IR) professionals and scholars have continuously revisited the question “What is IR?” One explanation for the recurrent questioning is that the practice and discipline of IR continues to evolve in response to the changing higher education environment in which it operates. (From the Association for Institutional Research (AIR): The First 50 Years).

    Recent work by AIR, including the Statement of Aspirational Practice of IR, the National Survey of IR Offices, and the Duties and Functions of IR have contributed to discussions about the present and future roles of IR and IR professionals within colleges and universities. Raising questions such as: How are the core functions and contributions of IR changing with the advent of “big” data and more sophisticated analytic tools? What knowledge, skills, or competencies are essential for IR professionals to excel now and in the future? What are the institutional structures, processes, and partnerships that can help IR meet the evolving decision-support demands of higher education?  And, how can AIR communicate the value of IR and advance data-informed decision making?  This session will explore how a set of emerging leaders in the field of institutional research view the current evolution of the profession and the field.  

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Higher Education

    Panelists: Elizabeth Adams, CSU Northridge; Michael Galchinsky, Georgia State University, Will O’Shea, Pacific University; Drew Thiemann, Bellarmine University 
    Moderator: Michael Le, Humboldt State University 

    According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, “A growing number of academics are experimenting with new technologies powered by artificial intelligence.” From computerized teaching assistants, to AI-assisted grading, to AI-powered chat bots used in recruitment and retention efforts, AI is increasing in use in higher education. What do IR, IE, assessment, and other data-related professions need to know to keep pace with these new technologies? This session will explore the topic from a variety of perspectives. 

  • Guided Pathways: The Role of Institutional Research

    Presenters: Mike Bohlig, Center for Community College Student Engagement, UT-Austin; Craig Hayward, Bakersfield College; Leon Hill, Achieving the Dream; Kent Phillippe, American Association of Community Colleges; Jean Runyon, Front Range Community College

    Guided pathways is a fast-growing effort used by community colleges and some four-year institutions to improve student success. While much of the existing literature focuses on the “student-facing” aspects of guided pathways: designing the pathways, advising, and ensuring students are learning; there is little conversation about the role institutional researchers play in the process. To provide a robust discussion of the role of institutional research, including interactions with other institutional divisions, this session will include presenters who represent a variety of perspectives on the topic.   

  • IR/IE Engaging with Policy: An International Perspective

    Panelists:Jan Botha, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Attila Pausits, Danube University, Krems, Austria; Dawn Geronimo Terkla, Tufts University, United States; Torii Tomoko, Ritsumeikan University, Japan  Moderator: Charlie Mathies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 

    International, national, and local politics have an impact on higher education, and, in recent years, those impacts have been felt more intensely in some settings. What are the roles of institutional research and effectiveness professionals in navigating this political environment? How can they bring the campus to the world and the world to campus, assisting their colleagues in understanding potential impacts of various policies? This panel session will consider how IR and IE can engage with policy from the perspective of professionals working in a variety of countries across the world, navigating common and unique political environments with impacts to higher education. 

Networking Opportunities

Welcome Reception

Get started on your networking early this year with the Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall. Grab a map, explore the sponsor booths, play the app game, enjoy activities, entertainment, and light refreshments, which will be sure to enhance your networking experience.

Dinner Groups

After the reception in the Exhibit Hall, join a dinner group to continue your networking. Dinner groups are available on the app and will meet-up in the Exhibit Hall immediately following the reception.

Explore Networking Opportunities


Additional Tuesday Education Offerings 

Pre-conference education is also held Tuesday, May 28. These offerings require an additional registration fee and seating is limited. 

Explore Pre-conference Education Options