e-AIR Newsletter April 2018

Do I Need to Pay Attention to the New EU Regulation about Data? Yes!

GDPRBy Ellen Peters, Director of Institutional Research, and Jamie Daniel, Deputy CIO, University of Puget Sound; Leah Ewing Ross, Senior Director for Research and Initiatives, AIR

The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect in May 2018. It strengthens data protections for EU residents as well as people and organizations who do business in the EU even if they are not located in the EU. GDPR specifies that people own and control their data; higher education professionals in the U.S. need to learn what the GDPR entails and how our institutions are held accountable to it. MORE
It’s Almost Forum Time!
Ellen Peters
AIR President
Ellen Peters
While it is unseasonably cold and stormy in some parts of the country, I am brightened by the knowledge that the AIR Annual Forum will take place about a month from now.

I find the Forum to be rejuvenating in many ways, and for those of you who will be able to attend, here’s some unsolicited advice about getting the most out of your Forum experience.

For those of you who are unable to attend in person, the recorded sessions from Digital Pass can still provide you with some of the benefits.

If you are interested, inspired, or instructed by a presentation, reach out to the presenter. Presenters spend a lot of time preparing, and are proud of their work. In true institutional research form, they want to share and collaborate – and they will be interested in your questions and observations.

Strike up conversations with the people sitting next to you at sessions and meals. I met one of my closest colleagues when we began a conversation at a meal, and we went on to collaborate on a large fun project.

Pick your session carefully, and be open. If a topic is interesting, but not directly connected to your area of work, check it out anyway. The Forum offers a chance to gain exposure to a wide variety of topics, and to build your knowledge base.

Be open to sessions from different higher education sectors. If you work with a community college, check out a session from a small liberal arts college. There is great work being done across all of our sectors – and with organizations. Our work overlaps more than we think!

Ask questions, or make comments at the sessions. Presenters are eager to hear how their work is received, and your perspectives and questions help us all to refine out work.

Give yourself at least one goal for the Forum. Find someone with whom you will write a proposal for the 2019 Forum, or find a mentor, or resolve to bring a specific idea back to your institution or organization for implementation.

Pace yourself! There are great sessions throughout the conference, and it can be overwhelming.

For those of you who are attending your umpteenth Forum, find ways to elevate new voices, while at the same time sharing your wealth of experience.

Remember the “Rule of Three:” instead of trying to remember everything, think about three new things you learned or connections you made, and focus on putting them to use when you return.

If you are interested in playing an active role in the governance of AIR, attend the Business Meeting on Wednesday afternoon. We’d love to have you!

Please share your tips for getting the most out of the Forum, and/or if you are willing, share a goal or two! MORE
Reducing 'Distance' Key to Online Learner Success
Enrollment and persistence rates increase for some students when educational opportunities are geographically close. Online education offers the least distance possible—in one’s own home... MORE.
NDIR Call for Editors
New Directions for Institutional Research (NDIR) invites applications for the position of Editor. Co-editorship applications are welcome. MORE
Announcements for AO and IR community conferences, meetings, institutes, and symposiums. See the LISTINGS.
Changing Organizational Culture With Better Data Visualization
Stephanie Evergreen Headshot
eAIR recently spoke with Stephanie Evergreen, opening keynote speaker for the 2018 AIR Forum in Orlando, Florida. She is best known for using a research-based approach to help researchers better present their data to stakeholders through more effective graphs, slides, and reports. A Fulbright scholar, her dissertation illustrated the extent of graphic design use in written research reporting. Her book, Effective Data Visualization, reached #1 on Amazon's bestsellers list. She authors a popular blog on data presentation at StephanieEvergreen.com.

eAIR: If there was one key idea you would want readers to take away from your book Effective Data Visualization: The Right Chart for the Right Data, what would it be?

We have so many more graphing options than pie charts and bar charts. If you start looking, it might actually seem like we have too many graphing options! My book narrows it down to the graph types that research supports and that will help us tell a clear story. MORE

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College Student Voter Ineligibility
600e00ab-a637-439e-ad7c-9eeadc4556d0.png The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) is a research center and think tank on college student political learning and engagement in democracy. Its research focuses on student voting, campus conditions for political learning, political agency and equity, and classroom teaching practices. IDHE’s signature initiative is the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). A recent report using data from NSLVE entitled College Student Voter Ineligibility and its Impact on Turnout Estimates explores the effect of the inability to account for voting-ineligible students in analyses of voter participation. Several categories of students ineligible to vote are described and potential impacts on calculations of college student voting rates are explored. MORE
Data Bite
Last month, we looked at the average number of hours spent by directors and found that data collection and management occupied the largest segment of time, followed closely by analyzing those data and disseminating results. But, does that breakdown differ by sector? This month, we explored how, on average, Directors spend their time disaggregated by sector and found that some tasks vary by sector (e.g., data collection and management, institutional meetings, and office management) while other tasks had commensurate time spent (e.g., disseminating information and professional development). MORE

Line Graph: How Directors Spend Their Time
Automating Surveys with Python, Qualtrics API, & Windows Task Scheduler
By Kai Chang, Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Bastyr University

Excel Logo Last fall, I had the opportunity to present my survey automation project using Python and Qualtrics at the Pacific Northwest Association for Institutional Research and Planning (PNAIRP). With my friend, we have since turned my original code into an open source Python programming package along with a step-by-step tutorial. MORE
IR's Role in Advocacy
Laura Fingerson headshot
Dear Laura: What do you feel IR’s role is in advocating for certain groups of students? Do you believe it’s okay to highlight specific populations that may be experiencing problems at your institution, or do you feel compelled to “just provide the numbers?”

The short answer is: absolutely. As IR/IE professionals, I believe we should advocate for what we see in the data, whether a win or a problem, because our role affords us a unique position in our institutions. If not us, then who?

The long answer is in three parts:

First, as we increasingly democratize our institutions’ data so stakeholders across the institution can be data-informed decision makers (students, faculty, and staff as outlined in AIR’s Statement of Aspirational Practice for IR), our data are engaged with at smaller and smaller aggregations. Leaders of our schools and programs are interested in and held accountable to the metrics for the groups for whom they are responsible. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Laura Fingerson, Academic Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Capella University.
Longwood University: Chart of the Week
By Darrell Tyler, Senior Research Analyst, Office of Assessment and Institutional Research, Longwood University

This is a specific week’s chart & tables exploring the trends in Longwood’s enrollment by Virginia regions. This year, Central Virginia has provided Longwood with its most undergraduates and graduate students (1,743), followed by Northern Virginia (1,120). From Fall 2013 to Fall 2017, undergraduate enrollment from out-of-state has seen a growth of just over 70%. Another substantive growth region is once again Central Virginia, which grew at 14.2%. Hampton Roads has been the only region that has exhibited a steady decline in enrollment (-17.6%) over this five-year period. MORE

Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education

- New Directions for Institutional Research

NDIR Call for Editors
New Directions for Institutional Research (NDIR) invites applications for the position of Editor. Co-editorship applications are welcome. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
Thanks to AIR Members
Our members are not only incredibly helpful, they are a pleasure to work with. Here are some special thanks to those who have gone beyond the call of duty for our Association.
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