e-AIR Newsletter January 2016

IR Professionals and Military-Connected Students

By 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.

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. Throughout the spring, we convened practitioners, researchers, and federal officials who work with or study service members and veterans to better understand the current state of research and practice and to build on campus strategies to support the postsecondary experiences and outcomes of those with a current or prior connection to the military.

Following our conversations with leading experts, and in collaboration with RTI International, we jointly released a convening summary that detailed guiding strategies for future research to inform areas of strength or need. The guiding strategies affirm the important role of IR professionals in leveraging data to inform key areas of strength or need in how our campuses support students. MORE
AIR Executive Director Resigns, Interim Named
By Gary R. Pike
2015-2016 AIR President
As president of the Board of Directors for the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), I am writing to inform AIR members that the Board of Directors and Randy Swing were unable to agree on terms for a 2016 contract and that Randy has resigned as executive director of AIR, effective January 4, 2016.

The Board of Directors has retained Randy as a consultant through March 31, 2016. Much of Randy’s work will focus on the Improving & Transforming Institutional Research in Postsecondary Education initiative.

I was a member of the Board of Directors in 2007 when Randy was hired as executive director, and I have been able to witness firsthand Randy’s many contributions to AIR.

AIR has grown significantly in size and mission under Randy’s leadership. During this time period, AIR membership has increased almost 8 percent, from 3,810 to 4,105 members. Total assets have grown from approximately $2.1 million to $4.7 million, and net assets have grown from $850,000 to $3.9 million.

Even more important than the growth of the organization is the growth in professional development opportunities. Face-to-face opportunities have included the Association’s annual conference (the AIR Forum), including pre-Forum workshops, in-person IPEDS training workshops, and the National Data Institute.

Even more impressive is the growth in online professional development during Randy’s tenure as executive director. Online opportunities include the Data and Decisions® Academy, with approximately 1,500 course completions since 2010, IPEDS video tutorials, IPEDS trainer web conferences, and tutorials for the NSF online data tools.

I know the AIR Board of Directors, Executive Office staff, and AIR members stand ready to assist Randy in whatever ways we can as he completes his duties at AIR, and we all wish him the very best in future endeavors.

AIR Chief Financial Officer Jason Lewis has been named interim executive director effective immediately. The Board has every confidence in Jason’s ability to assume the duties of executive director seamlessly until such time that a new executive director can be named. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
The Lingering Pain of the Great Recession
The report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University examines job loss and recovery since the Great Recession of 2008. It concludes that about 8 million jobs were lost between 2007 and 2010. MORE.

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.
Leading Campus-Wide Committees
Dear Meg: What advice do you have for IR professionals involved in leading campus-wide committees?

Institutional research professionals are reasonable choices for leading committees on their campuses in such comprehensive areas as student retention, outcomes assessment, regional accreditation, and long-range planning.

Whether you are leading a campus-wide committee at a small college or a large university, there are some basic concepts to keep in mind for successfully completing the charge of the group:

Use the expertise in the room. While you have been asked to chair the committee, you were not asked to do everything yourself. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Meg Sidle, Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Pikeville University.
Public Review Now Available for the Carnegie Classifications 2015 Update
By Vic Borden, Professor and Director, Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Indiana University Bloomington

The 2015 Update to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is now available for public review at the website. Functionally, the public review site allows the user to look up individual institutions and consult the definitions (descriptions and methodologies) for the various classifications.

The public review period will continue through the end of January, to allow institutional representatives to examine their status within the six “inclusive classifications,” and to ask questions or otherwise seek clarification from the Classification staff (Vic Borden, Phoebe Wakhungu, and Chris Stewart). MORE
NSSE Weekly Planner
Each August, prior to the start of the school year, our Office of Institutional Research presents at our new faculty orientation. In addition to the usual student demographics, we include data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI).

In particular, we present data that would be useful in the faculty-student interaction. We use the items from the instructional effectiveness scale of the SSI (what's important and how satisfied our students are). We also pull data from a variety of questions from NSSE to show interactions of students and faculty, inside and outside the classroom. MORE

Complex Issues and Trends in Research
Craig Abbey is Associate Vice President and Director of Institutional Analysis at the University at Buffalo.

eAIR: Please tell us a little about your work at The Center for Measuring University Performance (MUP).

The Center for Measuring University Performance is a research enterprise focused on the competitive national context for major research universities. Each year we produce a report called the Top American Research Universities, which provides benchmarking and rankings on nine measures of university performance. We aim to be a source for reliable data and conduct various studies on improving research universities. MORE

Free Business Intelligence Tool (using Dashboards in Excel)
By Heather Friesen, Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates
Dashboards and Business Intelligence (BI) have long been part of IR’s nomenclature, and have been developed in many institutions, and in many formats. Some solutions are relatively cost-effective while others cost millions, and some are implemented in an afternoon while others take years to bear fruit.

Those who work in IR offices without large budgets and/or robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) support typically have limited access to these solutions. Fortunately, there are some built-in tools in Excel (2010 and above) that can function as quasi-BI tools, and can create dynamic visuals such as the Enrollment Dashboard below, which are very easy to set up using Slicers and Pivot ChartsMORE
Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education
- Journal of Higher Education
Announcements for conferences, meetings, institutes, symposiums, and other events of interest. See the LISTINGS.

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
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