e-AIR Newsletter February 2018

2018 Top 10 IT Issues: Opportunities for IR/IT Collaboration

By Gina Johnson, Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships & Membership, AIR

Top 10 GraphicSuccessful data-informed decision making in higher education takes the knowledge, skills, and commitment of many individuals across an institution or system. Institutional research – data, information, and analysis for decision making – is one of the keys to this success. Other important factors include committed leadership and technology infrastructure, as well as an informed set of data producers, users, and consumers.

Our colleagues at EDUCAUSE annually produce a list of the top 10 IT issues, and in recent years, many items on the list are issues of top concern to both IT and IR professionals, highlighting the importance of collaboration within these units of an organization. In addition to co-hosting the 2018 Enterprise IT Summit with EDUCAUSE and NACUBO, AIR is focusing on ways to enhance the collaborative work of IR professionals with their colleagues in IT and other units. Following is a reflection on the collaborative opportunities that exist between IR and IT in relation to tackling some of the issues the list identifies, presented in four themes that focus on remaking higher education. MORE
Shaping the Future of Our Association

Vote Today!
Glenn W. James
AIR Immediate Past President
AIR is fortunate to have an extensive network of members with broad understanding, creative vision, keen insights, and balanced perspectives about the complex work that we do. Combining the rich resource of AIR members with the capabilities of Executive Director Christine Keller, the outstanding leadership team and staff of the Executive Office, and all of the many member volunteers, we easily can see that there is so much to appreciate in AIR – especially the many professional development opportunities for AIR members.

The strong spirit of sharing and helping each other to learn, grow, and improve is evident. We certainly are able to capitalize on the diversity of knowledge among us and leverage our collective versatility in addressing the needs at hand. Our resulting contributions in the development of information and analyses are crucial to the higher education enterprise in which we serve.

As we continue our journey toward addressing the multifaceted challenges of tomorrow, we each have an opportunity to help in guiding the direction of AIR and shaping the future of our profession! The 2018 AIR election is in progress. If you already have voted in the election, then thank you for your participation. If you have not already voted, then you have an important opportunity to indicate your preferences for a number of Association leadership positions. Fourteen AIR members have stepped forward to be candidates for positions on the Board of Directors or on the Nominations and Elections Committee.

The Board of Directors has a fundamental responsibility for looking forward, thinking ahead, and helping to guide AIR in targeted ways that will help Association members to flourish in our careers and to have significant positive impact upon students and the institutions to which we are so committed. Similarly, the Nominations and Elections Committee seeks to identify an array of outstanding candidates for leadership and service in positions on the Board of Directors. All of these elected positions, on the Board and on the NEC, have important impact and influence upon the future of the Association. So, now is your chance to affect that impact by voting.

Great appreciation goes out to all of those AIR members who are candidates in this election. Serving on the Board of Directors or the Nominations and Elections Committee is a direct contribution to the strength and capability of the Association. Thank you to all of the candidates for your willingness to contribute!

I hope that everyone will take a few minutes to learn about the candidates and then vote! The election closes on March 5. MORE
Data Feedback Report Update: 2017
On 1/29/2018, Data Feedback Reports (DFR) were sent via email to all IPEDS Keyholders and Coordinators, and on 2/8 they were emailed to all Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). The reports contain information provided during the 2016-17 IPEDS collection cycle, and assist higher education professionals... MORE.
Keeping AIR Members Informed
AIR welcomes brief announcements of interest to the IR and assessment communities, such as the release of a report, funding opportunities or a request for applications. Send your announcement to eAIR@airweb.org and include a link to your website as well as a contact name and email address. Announcements
IR and Inconvenient Public Data
Isuan headshot
Dear Ishuan: I recently came across a particular website that generates employment measures and portrays graduates from my institution unfavorably compared to other institutions. What is your perspective on IR use of/approach to public data on graduates’ employment outcomes?

About four years ago I came across a website which reported longitudinal labor market data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Department. As a faculty member with research interests in the economics of education, I was extremely excited about its potential use in assessing effectiveness of programs and institutions in preparing students for the labor market. On this website, readers can view aggregated reports on employment measures (unemployment status, earnings) of graduates from all institutions of higher education in the state of Minnesota by degree levels and majors. Two other similar public access data tools are provided by Virginia Longitudinal Data System and Florida College System Report. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Ishuan Li, Associate Professor of Economics, Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Data Bite
In the National Survey of IR Offices Report (free PDF report), we grouped institutions by their task “personality” and identified three patterns: Broad (IR Offices who are engaged in nearly every data initiatives), Focused (IR Offices that produce data work / support others in their work), and Limited Responsibility (IR Offices that have a narrow portfolio; typically compliance reporting). In addition, the report explored how the IR Office is funded.

Is the funding of the IR Office dependent on its “personality?” It depends. For the public sectors (Public 2-Year and Public 4-Year), we find that Broad IR Offices have larger budgets than IR Offices with Focused and Limited Responsibility personality. That relationship does not hold for Private 4-Year institutions. MORE

Connecting Across International Boundaries
JaneAIR recently spoke with AIR member visitors to Taiwan: Michelle Appel, Ellen Peters, and Rob Toutkoushian about their experiences visiting with Taiwan-AIR members and why connections with IR professionals around the world are so important for the future of higher education. eAIR also spoke with Dr. Jong-Tsun Huang about his perspectives regarding IR in Taiwan, Taiwan-AIR, and challenges he faces compared to his IR counterparts in the U.S.

eAIR: What was the main purpose for your visit to Taiwan with the Taiwan Association for Institutional Research (Taiwan-AIR)?

Michelle: I spoke at their November 2017 International Conference. I was invited, along with Brent Drake from UNLV, to discuss how data can be used to foster student success.

Ellen: I was invited to deliver the keynote for their conference, themed “Institutional Research and University Development Strategy.” I spoke about the Duties and Functions of Institutional Research, providing one curricular and one operational example of how these duties and functions advance an institution.

Rob: In November 2016, I was invited by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) and Taiwan-AIR to speak at their Higher Education Institutional Research conference in Taipei, Taiwan. The focus of my presentation was on the implementation of IR and quality assurance mechanisms. MORE
Time to Doctoral Degree: Box Plots in Qlik Sense
By Iryna Johnson, Associate Director for Analytics, Office of IR, Auburn University

600e00ab-a637-439e-ad7c-9eeadc4556d0.pngThis visual display explores time to doctoral degrees across different fields of study and degree types at matriculation. A user can manipulate (1) college and department at graduation and (2) college, department, and degree type at matriculation. Time to degree is the number of years that elapsed between the first date of a student’s first semester of enrollment at a graduate or professional level and graduation date, regardless of whether a student was continuously enrolled during this period.

The box plot is a display of a distribution of data based on the five number summary: minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum. MORE
Microsoft Outlook Email Search Syntax
By Liying Cui, Data Scientist, Southern New Hampshire University

Outlook Logo When was the last time you wanted to find an email from Bob with an attachment, and you ended up sorting emails by sender and scrolling through a long list?

If this sounds familiar, check out Outlook's instant search for time saving features.

Using proper search syntax, you can locate specific emails based on various query conditions. MORE
Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education

- Research in Higher Education
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.
Announcements for AO and IR community conferences, meetings, institutes, and symposiums. See the LISTINGS.
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