James Madison University

Office of Institutional Research

Volume 2, Issue 1
October 2001

About OIR

Mission Statement


Questions about OIR's activities can be directed to
Institutional Research.


Welcome Back! As we begin the new academic year OIR would like to provide you with information about the services we provide and some useful university information. One of the important functions of OIR is to conduct research about the university to support decision making. Since many of you depend on OIR for official information for a variety of purposes, we publish a quarterly newsletter to inform you about research activities that might be useful to you. We welcome your comments about our newsletter and appreciate your support. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Frank J. Doherty, Ph.D. Director, OIR

Reports of Institutional Effectiveness (ROIE)

JMU is required to report annually to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia performance measures in 14 dimensions similar to all higher education institutions in Virginia. Each institution is also able to provide up to 11 institution-specific measures. JMU's performance measures are provided in the link above. JMU is the only institution in the Commonwealth to provide a comprehensive list of learning measures.

Student Research

Frequently faculty assign students research projects that involve analyzing data about the university. OIR has an extensive web site of data for students to use, but sometimes the assignments prompt students to ask us for data we do not have. It would be greatly appreciated if you would familiarize yourself with our web site at http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/  if you plan to assign student research that could involve university data. If you contact OIR before you assign the research project, we may be able to collect and post the data on our web site.

Recent Additions to OIR's and Institutional Effectiveness's Web Sites:

We have greatly updated the peer information on our web site, including the following:


Statistical Summary

Annually OIR produces a Statistical Summary of important information about JMU. Six years ago OIR placed its first Statistical Summary on the web. Now, as information is collected and verified, we will place new pages on our web site. Several tables are already available in the 2001-02 Statistical Summary.

AAUP Data: Data on average faculty salaries for JMU's peer group are displayed for 1992-93 to 2000-01.

Peer Information: Several tables of information that compare JMU with our peers have been added. These include information about graduation rates, finances, costs, etc.

OIR's program reviews, annual reports, and 2000-01 goals and accomplishments.

Current Projects

JMU Planning Process

The Division of Institutional Effectiveness is coordinating the development of a web-based comprehensive planning database that  is ready for use. This system provides a single point of entry for all strategic and operational university goals and objectives. It can be used to display on the web unit, division, and university goals. It encourages collaboration in the development and reporting of goals and objectives throughout the university. It incorporates  the requirements by SACS for the integration of Mission, planning, evaluation and assessment, and use of results for program improvement. The module was developed by the Madison Media Lab. In 2001-02 development and maintenance of the Planning Database shifts to Information Technology. This was done to integrate the system with PeopleSoft and to prepare for significant enhancements in the next several years. Many thanks to the Media Lab for their excellent development work.

SACS Self-Study

OIR is very involved in supporting the SACS Self-Study. OIR provides a significant amount of data for the Self-Study as well as organizes and maintains the Self-Study online library catalog.

Study of JMU Faculty

OIR has been collecting data on faculty since 1986. A study will be completed in the fall of 2001 on various trends in faculty employment, turnover, etc.

Facilities Inventory and Utilization Reports

Each year OIR and Resource Planning submit to SCHEV a facilities inventory file of all space on campus. We currently have more than 12,000 unique spaces in the file. The inventory has been placed online so that space can be reviewed by building. Soon we will give departments the ability to search for space assigned to them.

OIR also creates a facilities utilization file for SCHEV. This file is used to calculate utilization statistics for the use of classrooms and regularly scheduled labs. The official utilization statistics were reported by SCHEV in July. JMU again exceeded SCHEV's requirements for use of classrooms and class labs.  These statistics are part of JMU's performance measures for SCHEV.

OIR Program Review

This spring a focused program review of OIR's data management capabilities is being conducted. Led by Dr. Robert Brookshire, the primary objective is to provide guidance to OIR about how to manage its large data files and eventually make them more accessible to the university community.

Useful Links
The National Center for Education Statistics

College Opportunities On-Line (COOL)
College Opportunities On-Line is designed to help college students, future students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college. Click here then search for James Madison University for information about  JMU. 

The May/June 2001 issue of "The Technology Source," a free, refereed e-Journal published by UNC-Chapel Hill and sponsored by SCT, SmartForce, and Compaq.

The Association for Institutional Research has many useful links on its web site, including Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Learning, Outcomes, and Academic Programming.


Research Notes

Enrollment Projections At JMU

The purpose of this Research Notes is to describe the process by which the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) develops JMU's enrollment projections.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is required by Code of Virginia to coordinate enrollment projections for the public higher education institutions. In the spring of odd numbered years each higher education institution must submit formal enrollment projections to be approved by SCHEV.

Enrollment projections serve several purposes. JMU's Budget Office uses the enrollment projections to estimate the revenue that will be generated to support the university's annual budget. The Division of Academic Affairs uses the projections to estimate the number of new freshmen and transfers that they need to accommodate. The Admissions Office uses the new freshmen and transfer targets to determine the number of new students to offer admission. The importance of accuracy has increased dramatically as the university has stabilized enrollments. Even a 100 student shortfall or miscalculation in the number of out-of-state students will have a significant impact on revenues in the 100's of thousands of dollars.

Enrollment projections have been prepared by OIR for more than 20 years. Each year they are revised to incorporate emerging enrollment trends and the strategic goals of the university's administration. In the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's JMU's strategic goals included growth from 4,041 in fall 1970 to 14,961 in fall 2000.

 The university's administration incorporated the work of the Centennial Commission into a set of 29 Defining Characteristics, of which #25 addresses enrollment growth.

25. The university, long characterized for its continuous enrollment growth, will stabilize residential enrollment.

In his inaugural address, President Rose reiterated the university's commitment to stabilize residential enrollment.

"As president, I will do my utmost to provide a compelling and convincing argument to generate additional State resources for the University’s operating budget. While additional capital outlay dollars are needed for new buildings to satisfy current enrollments, it must also be recognized that we have renovation and renewal requirements to upgrade aging facilities on our campus. Once we achieve our previously agreed upon enrollment projections we must stabilize the residential enrollment until we are able to reach a satisfactory funding equilibrium."


Based on the work of the Centennial Commission, the administration's goal, and JMU's need for financial predictability, OIR pursues the following two goals when developing enrollment projections.

  1. Provide input to help JMU stabilize enrollment.
  2. Out-of-state students will account for less than 30 percent of all students.

OIR monitors the following trends to develop enrollment projections.

  1. Retention and graduation rates of all students, by residence (in-state or out-of-state), and by gender
  2. The number of graduate students
  3. Average credit hours taken by students.

Research Notes on enrollment projections can be viewed by clicking here.

A summary sheet of JMU's enrollment projections can be viewed by clicking here.

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Publisher: JMU Institutional Research    For Information Contact: ASK-OIR@JMU.EDU
James Madison University - Anthony Seeger, Rm 11, MSC 6807. Harrisonburg, VA 22807
(540) 568-6830