eAIR Newsletter June 2017

AIR Courses Benefit Staff, Managers, and Institutions

In the past year, AIR introduced two new online courses: IPEDS Keyholder Essentials and IPEDS Keyholder Efficiencies. NSF Higher Education Public Use Data will launch in late summer 2017. AIR also launched a new course that features an online-only option and a hybrid option with online content followed by a two-day face-to-face seminar: A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research.

Established in 2010, the online Data and Decisions Academy® offers a variety of relevant course material designed for community college IR professionals. These online and hybrid courses provide myriad opportunities for professional development: they are cost effective, fit within your hectic schedule, can be enjoyed in comfortable environments like your office or home, and provide knowledge and skills critical for career advancement.

This article reviews several of the new and existing educational opportunities available to AIR members as well as those in the larger IR community. MORE
The Future Awaits!
Ellen Peters
2017-2018 AIR President
Well, the 2017 Forum in Washington, D.C. has come and gone, leaving me both exhilarated and inspired!

I hope that the lessons learned from Allison Clark about communication, from Jeff Strohl about data collection, and Talithia Williams about data impact - along with all the other sessions and activities - will carry you through the year with new ideas and renewed energy until we meet again in Orlando.

Kudos to all who were involved in making the Forum so successful – AIR staff, volunteers, presenters and speakers, and of course, all of you who were able to attend.

As the Board looks to the coming year with Dr. Christine Keller at the helm as the AIR Executive Director, we are focusing on two things: the future of our profession and the voice of the membership. Both of these are central principles of our governing structure, Policy Governance.

The Future of Institutional Research
As a result of input from members, the Board convened an ad hoc committee of the Board (IR Future Committee) to think deeply about the future of our profession.

When we met at the Forum, Timothy Chow, who chairs that committee, presented that work. The committee explored the key issues (competition, trends, nature of the work), and how those might impact institutional research both immediately and in the future.

They considered issues such as accountability, funding, technology, vendors, and consultants and how those issues impact decision-making, data management, who we serve, and data security and ethics.

As the scrutiny under which higher education finds itself continues to increase, institutional research will need to leverage our expertise to be of service to our institutions and our industry.

How we do that begins to be addressed in the Duties and Functions of Institutional Research, but we know it will change rapidly. It is clear that this work is on-going, and the Board is considering making the IR Future Committee a standing committee of the Board. We will be discussing this over our next several meetings.

Voice of the Members
As the Association has transitioned to Policy Governance, the Board has been mindful of our role in gathering the voice of the members to shape the Ends (p.34) for which we hold the Executive Office accountable.

While we have done so in a variety of ways – surveys, meetings with Affiliate Organizations at the Forum, we hope to be more intentional in doing so this year. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
Undergraduate Financial Aid in the US
Inspired by growing student enrollment and aid investment levels, lengthening time to degree, and inequalities in degree attainment, this paper seeks to explore financial aid’s role in the future of undergraduate education...MORE.
Benchmarking Doctoral Programs
Dear Laura: We have several doctoral programs at my institution, but I am having a hard time finding ways to benchmark how well they are doing. I was just at the AIR Forum in DC, and most of the discussions on benchmarking were about undergraduate programs, such as with IPEDS data. Also, our programs serve adults who are part-time students, often because they work full-time. Do you have any suggestions?

Great question! We are in the same boat. Over a quarter of our students at Capella University are in doctoral programs. Masters programs are also a challenge to benchmark, but doctoral programs are our biggest challenge because of their length and complexity. The closest benchmarking I found was the Council of Graduate Schools’ Ph.D. Completion project for cohorts from 1992-2004, but that effort is limited to Ph.D. programs, does not include the many professional doctorates, and is now dated. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Laura Fingerson, Associate Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Capella University.
2017 Forum Photo Gallery
The 2017 Forum in Washington, DC was the gathering place for more than 2,000 colleagues and friends from IR and related fields. To see some of the best moments from the conference, visit the Forum Photo Gallery.

Data Bite
The National Survey of IR Offices report (page 7) grouped IR offices into three “personalities:” Broad (offices with broad portfolios of work for which they are responsible, 27% of offices), Focused (offices with a concrete set of tasks with a significant set of tasks for which they have no responsibility, 45% of offices), and Limited Responsibility (offices whose responsibility is largely centered on reporting tasks, 28% of offices).

Disaggregating by sector, we find that Public institutions (2-year and 4-year) have similar ratios of Broad, Focused, and Limited Responsibility while a lower percentage of Private, not-for-profit, 4-year institutions are in the “Broad” category compared to public institutions. MORE


AIR Travel Grant Boosts AO Participation at Forum

Kai Chang, PNAIRP; Erica Hughes, LAIR; Rachel Jumper, TAIR; Dai Li, OCAIR; Nonie Nichols, CIRPA; Nick Valcik, RMAIR; and Allison Walters, NEAIR; were 7 of the 26 2017 AIR Affiliated Organization (AO) Travel Grant winners. The grant, now in its third year, was created to partner with AOs and serve the skill development needs of institutional researchers who might otherwise be unable to attend the Forum. Qualifying AOs receive matching funds from AIR on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $1,000. eAIR spoke with these 2017 Forum presenters about their experience with the travel grant and the Forum.

eAIR: What was your reaction when you found out you had been awarded a 2017 AIR Affiliated Organization Travel Grant?

Kai: I was humbled and thrilled to have received this grant. This is the first time I received a travel grant for a presentation. My awesome colleagues at work were also full of praise.

Erica: My first reaction when learning that I’d received the travel grant was excitement, but was quickly followed by the nervousness of “is it really in the budget for me to actually go?” After being reassured, I was ready! MORE
ASPPH Undergraduate Network Map
By Emily M. Burke, Program Manager of Data Analytics; Robyn R. Brigham, Program Coordinator of Data Analytics; and Sarah Weiner, Program Manager of Education and Practice, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

The Undergraduate Public Health and Global Health Education Network was formed by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) in 2015 to connect institutions with undergraduate majors that focus on the science and practice of public health, global health, global public health, and those with undergraduate majors related to these fields. MORE
Mapping Student Enrollment Data With R
By Elizabeth Hoff, Institutional Research Analyst, and Steve Wilkerson, Associate Vice Provost, The University of Texas at San Antonio
90919fe8-9d30-4a0d-be2f-c3b2738323cf.png Our office recently experimented with mapping student enrollment data using readily available packages in the open-source R software. Full R code can be found at the end of this tip. For this map, we displayed our fall 2016 in-state student population by county of residence.

Our first step was to create a dataset consisting of in-state students’ IDs, counties of residence, and a count of the number of students residing in each county. MORE
Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education

- Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition

- New Directions for Institutional Education

- Research in Higher Higher Education
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.
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
There are more than 150 listed on AIR's Job Board.
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