Culture of evidence—progress 21 April 09

To begin advancing a culture of evidence, Steve Smith and I (Matt Johnson) have been working with others on developing a plan for an Office of Institutional Research (OIR) on campus.  We’ve had a number of meetings, and we’re working closely Rick Vrem and Denice Helwig.  Rick outlined various models for an OIR to the Executive Committee, and we’re now meeting with people currently conducting institutional research, and also some of the primary users of those data.  The goal is to work toward an OIR that can provide information to help strategize decision making, planning and budget issues, and perhaps to aid in assessment as well.  Our plan is to present to the Executive Committee a rough plan for what the OIR might look like, and how it could be structured & staffed.  Then, our vision is for a plan to be vetted with the larger campus community to get feedback and modify the plan accordingly.
Of course, an effective OIR is a necessary ingredient for a culture of evidence, but it is arguably the first and simplest of several important steps toward a culture of evidence.  As a campus, we need to change our habits to use evidence in making decisions, assess our accomplishments, and modify our practices so we can continuously improve.  So, we must incorporate mechanisms and procedures that not only ensure that information and analyses from the OIR are used, but guarantee this information and evidence influence decisions and effect change. 

Posted by Matt Johnson at 09:13 AM
Filed in: Culture of EvidencePermalink