With an increasing amount of my time for the past two years spent with the Provost’s Office and the College in general helping to guide our assessment efforts, the IR Office has been struggling mightily to keep up with our work. In January we were approved for an additional limited term position in the IR office to help offset the loss of my time. The need for the position will be reevaluated in three years, which corresponds to the term of the new (second) Associate Provost position. This is not an accident. Since both positions are intended to relieve overloads caused, at least in part, by our needs for assessment and institutional effectiveness leadership, it makes sense to review this new infrastructure a few years down the road to see how it is serving us, as our assessment processes improve and our work becomes more routine.
With this additional IR position and Alex’s departure, I’ll be in a way replacing both Alex and myself, as I continue focusing more on assessment and on our upcoming accreditation mid-term report. But while Alex and I shared much of the responsibilities for IR reporting and research in the past, I’ll be structuring the two positions to more separately reflect these two key roles. A Data and Reporting Officer will have primary responsibility for data management, and routine and ad hoc reporting for internal and external purposes. An Institutional Research Associate (the limited term position) will focus more on special studies, and is expected to provide the advanced analytic skills to our projects. These two positions, and mine, will share somewhat in responsibilities and have just enough overlap to serve us in those many “all hands” moments. It should be an exciting time for Institutional Research – and for assessment!