e-AIR Newsletter May 2017

Quality Education for All

Interview with Bill Banowsky, producer of the highly-acclaimed documentary “Starving the Beast.”

A screening of this award-winning, feature-length film will take place during the 2017 Forum at 7:00 PM Thursday, June 1, in the Independence Ballroom located at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Conference Center. A discussion featuring Bill Banowsky and a panel of individuals featured in the film will follow the screening.

eAIR: What was the impetus for the creation and development of this film?

We began making this film in 2012. Steve Mims (director, Starving the Beast) and I were living in Austin at the time and observed several remarkable and dramatic things happening in Texas public higher education; an area, of course, that seldom sees dramatic or remarkable change. Governor Rick Perry had declared his intention to adopt a series of controversial proposals – written by Austin businessman and Perry financial supporter Jeff Sandefer – called the “Seven Breakthrough Solutions for Higher Education.” MORE
A New Chapter
Glenn James
2016-2017 AIR President
Ah, the wonderful month of May has arrived! This means that very soon, on May 30 through June 2, we will meet in Washington, DC for the 2017 AIR Forum! This is only the second time that the Forum has been convened in Washington, DC. The previous DC Forum was more than 40 years ago, in 1974. Yes, IR and the tools, networks, and resources that we use have changed enormously since then.

I always enjoy the excitement of the Forum – choosing from a broad array of sessions, reconnecting with and meeting new colleagues and friends, learning from IR professionals in different sectors, regions, and countries, and sharing ideas and solutions with institutional researchers near and far.

The Forum is such an energizing experience, and I am so glad to capture additional insights and knowledge from colleagues who share so generously.

The efforts and contributions of the AIR Executive Office staff, as well as many AIR members, volunteers, and sponsors, converge to produce marvelous opportunities for professional development and enhanced understanding. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the US
In this annual update (2017) to Indicators of Higher Education Equity, the Pell Institute and Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) of the University of Pennsylvania report the status of higher education equity in the United States and identify changes over time... MORE.
Collecting Employment and Wage Data
Dear Laura: What advice do you have for collecting employment data on graduates?

Earning a postsecondary degree is assumed by most to ideally provide both a personal benefit and a public good. With the costs associated with higher education, institutions are increasingly being held responsible for providing evidence to affirm this assumption. There are many outcomes that might be considered evidence (increased civic engagement, increased cultural awareness, increased ability to collaborate to solve societal issues, decreased need for public assistance, lower rates of poverty, etc.) but the two that arguably receive the most intense scrutiny are graduates’ employment rates and wages. For that reason, it is critical that institutions understand how to collect and effectively report these data. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Laura Jensen, Associate Provost for Planning and Effectiveness, Colorado State University. Special thanks from the author to Jeremy Podany, Career Center Executive Director at Colorado State University, for sharing a vision of true institutional collaboration and shared responsibility.
Data Bite
Access to data is the foundation of a data-informed decision culture. However, some IR Offices report limited or restricted access to a number of institutional data sets that might prove valuable in researching predictors of student success. From the National Survey of IR Offices, we learn that 57% of IR Offices have limited access to student class attendance and 46% have limited access to student activities data. MORE


Make the Most of the 2017 AIR Forum
eAIR recently spoke with Charles Mathies, Senior Expert - Strategic Planning & Development at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, about how to make the most of your Forum experience whether you are a newcomer to the Forum or a seasoned attendee.

eAIR: As a Forum attendee for the last several years, what advice would you give to a first-time attendee to get the most out of their Forum experience?

I would suggest two things. First, go to the social events – both for newcomers as well as all conference participants. This is a great way to meet people across the field from other institutions, but also vendors and their various products. Second – be specific in your selection of sessions you attend – don’t just go to sessions to because it is convenient (close by or a good time slot). I try to choose a theme (by topic, like IPEDS or student satisfaction, some other theme like a specific statistical method, or by a specific vendor product, e.g., Tableau) and try to attend sessions throughout the Forum within that theme. I have found I usually take away more from a conference by doing this because I gain depth to a topic/issue and varying perspectives on how it can be used in my own work at my campus. MORE
UTSA Interactive Dashboard
By Fikrewold Bitew and Elizabeth Hoff, Institutional Research Analysts, and Steve Wilkerson, Associate Vice Provost, The University of Texas at San Antonio

The IR office at UTSA has typically made institutional data available for internal and external audiences by publishing static, PDF versions of the fact book and individual college and department profiles. During the past year, we have transformed our website by creating a Dashboards page (pictured below), consisting of several self-service, interactive custom reports using the relatively inexpensive Microsoft Power BI software. MORE

Using the INDIRECT Function in Excel
By Calvin Piston, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, John Brown University
90919fe8-9d30-4a0d-be2f-c3b2738323cf.png You can use the INDIRECT function when you want to change the reference to a cell within a formula without changing the formula itself. I have used this function for several projects, including tracking student enrollment.

Whenever a cell on another sheet of an Excel file is referenced, the formula bar displays the location. I wanted to be able to use this idea in a formula where the sheet names are in the first row of a summary sheet. MORE
Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher 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
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