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  • Ethics Spotlight
  • 03.24.20

Ethics in Action

  • by Stephan Cooley, AIR Project Analyst for Research & Initiatives

As data professionals, we strive to do our work with integrity; however, applying ethicalethics principles in practice isn’t always easy. AIR crafted a resource based on scenarios shared by data professionals to help navigate the ethical landscape and contextualize the AIR Statement of Ethical Principles. These examples of Ethics in Action are intended to guide personal reflection and frame conversations around the responsible use of data for decision making. See the sample scenarios below and click the link for the full examples and information on how to submit your own.

Know Your Limits

A committee that leads an institution-wide initiative crafts an extensive list of data-related questions to guide its work. Some are easy to answer, but others require a great deal of time and effort, as well as statistical expertise beyond the IR unit’s capability. The desire to be of service is strong, but the risk of taking on more than can be accomplished is high.

The Rogue Storyteller

An administrator requests data with the intention of creating a dashboard to inform an important decision. The data professional counsels the administrator about how to appropriately use the data and makes recommendations for how the information could be reported and displayed. However, the administrator disregards the advice and creates a dashboard with misleading comparisons that aren’t supported by or reflected in the data.

Read more about these and other examples of Ethics in Action here.
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eAIR is the newsletter of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). From its start in October 1987 to today, eAIR remains one of the most important tools for providing news to the higher education community.

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