James Madison University

Office of Institutional Research

Volume 2, Issue 3
March 2002

About OIR

Mission Statement


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

Table of Contents

The OIR staff have been busy with several major projects this year. Below are links to important additions to our Web site. Your comments about the newsletter are appreciated.

SACS Self-Study Final Report

More than 200 faculty, staff, and students have been working for three years to complete the Self-Study Report for JMU's reaccredidation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The final document is completed and posted on the SACS Web site. We  encourage you to visit the site to review the document.


SACS Visiting Team

Between April 15 and 18 approximately 20 faculty and administrators from various institutions in the southeast will be on our campus to review and discuss the SACS Self-Study with more than 200 faculty, staff, and administrators. The purpose of the visit is to verify the Self-Study Report and determine JMU's compliance with the SACS Criteria for Accreditation. You will be contacted prior to the visit if one or more of the visitors would like to meet with you. It would be appreciated if you keep your schedule relatively free (except for instructional responsibilities) for April 16 and 17.


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:

AAUP Data: Data on average faculty salaries for JMU's peer group are displayed for 1992-93 to 2000-01. New data to appear in April 2002.

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.


2001-02 Studies and Research Notes

Study of JMU Faculty

OIR has been collecting data on faculty since 1986. A study was completed in the fall of 2001 on various trends in faculty employment, turnover, etc. You can view the study by clicking here. Go to the bottom of the page for the link.

Research Notes

Vol. 15, No 2 July 2001, Enrollment Projections At JMU

Vol. 15, No 3 May 2001, Faculty Salaries of JMU's Peer Group, 2000-01

Vol. 15, No 4 November 2001, Fall 2001 On-Campus Enrollment Summary

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.  Departments have the ability to search for space assigned to them.

OIR Program Review

Last year a focused program review of OIR's data management capabilities was conducted. Led by Dr. Robert Brookshire, the primary objective was to provide guidance to OIR about how to manage its large data files and eventually make them more accessible to the university community. The program review was completed in December.


SCHEV Research Data Warehouse

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) now provides access to historical data on Virginia's public institutions.

Chuck DeHart

Chuck DeHart, who has worked in OIR since 1995, has been promoted to the Assistant Director. Chuck has done an excellent job with our reporting requirements and ensuring the accuracy of data. He will be assuming some additional responsibilities in several areas. Congratulations Chuck!

Current Projects

Statistical Summary

Annually OIR produces a Statistical Summary of important information about JMU. In 1995-96 OIR placed its first Statistical Summary on the web. The 2001-02 Statistical Summary is complete. Your comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many changes to the Statistical Summary have been made over the years in response to customer requests.

JMU Portfolio

In December the Division of Institutional Effectiveness placed on the Web the JMU Portfolio. This is a portal for anyone who wants to review data about the institution's effectiveness. Sections include a Profile of JMU (Mission Statement, Centennial Commission, Defining Characteristics; Statistics and Summaries) and Evidence of JMU's Effectiveness (Accreditation, Planning, Accomplishments, Annual Reports, Performance Measures; Perception Surveys.).

Summary of Institutional Effectiveness Processes

A document has been written to summarize for the SACS Visiting Team the JMU IE processes. This is a comprehensive summary of what has been accomplished at JMU in institutional effectiveness (planning, assessment, evaluation, use of results) since 1991..

Common Data Set

Ever need to complete a survey with official JMU data? One very useful source of these data is the Common Data Set, prepared annually by OIR. The CDS is used by many national publications, including U.S. News & World Report.  Data included in the CDS: General Information; Enrollment and Persistence; Undergraduate Admissions ; Transfer Admissions; Academic Offerings and Policies; Student Life; Annual Expenses; Financial Aid; Instructional Faculty and Class Size; Degrees Conferred; and Definitions.

Financing of Higher Education in Virginia: Analysis and Issues

Each year OIR provides the majority of data for a report to the Board of Visitors on financing higher education. It includes national, regional, and state data on tuition and fees, state appropriations, and expenditures. Very enlightening. The most recent report was completed in March 2002.

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 Madison Media Lab for their excellent development work.

Research Notes

JMU Performance Measures

The importance of collecting and reporting data about the performance of higher education institutions has increased dramatically in the last ten years. According to the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), at least 21 states require some type of annual accountability reports that include performance measures. State governments, taxpayers, students, and parents demand evidence that their funds are spent efficiently and on the most important outcome--learning. If defined well, performance measures may provide taxpayers, students, and parents useful information upon which to make informed decisions about college choice. Performance measures can add rationality to the ways in which college choice and funding decisions are made. The problem with most performance measures is that they tend to focus on data which can easily be obtained: graduation and retention rates; percent of dollars spent on instruction, credit hours taught per faculty member, percentage of class sections taught by full-time faculty, etc.. Seldom can one find learning measures in lists of state-wide performance measures. National ratings like U.S. News & World Report focus on input measures and the reputation of institutions as measures of institutional quality. You may want to review a recent article about the U.S. News ratings.

Performance Measures In Virginia

In 1999 the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education recommended that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) develop a means to report on the performance of higher education at each public institution. SCHEV, in cooperation with the institutions, developed Reports of Institutional Effectiveness (ROIE). Mandated by law, ROIE focuses on: accessibility; affordability; quality; and efficiency.

ROIE measures consist of three sections on their Web site: profile measures (descriptive statistics about the institution); system-wide measures (fourteen measures of operational efficiency and academic quality); and institution-specific measures (eleven measures contributing special insights and context to the understanding of the institution and what it values).

One of the major differences between JMU's institution-specific measures and those of the other institutions is that JMU's measures focus on learning. JMU's learning measures include: Information-Seeking Skills Test; Basic Technological Skills Test; Writing; American History and Government; Critical Thinking Test ;Oral Communication Test; Wellness and Human Development; Arts and Humanities; Quantitative Reasoning Test; Natural World/Science Test; and Global Experience Test.

JMU Performance Measures

JMU continues to collect and report on a variety of performance measures through different media. The Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) provides learning outcome data for the ROIE. The Office of Institutional Research collects profile and system-wide data for ROIE and other data for internal monitoring, including a quarterly report card of performance measures. The Division of Institutional Effectiveness maintains a University Portfolio, a Web site that contains a profile of JMU and evidences of JMU's effectiveness.

In summary, performance measures will be an important aspect of the measurement of effectiveness of higher education for many years. JMU, especially with its learning measures, is one of the leaders in the collection and dissemination of performance measures.

The entire Research Notes can be accessed at http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/rntoc.htm .

Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

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Publisher: JMU Institutional Research    For Information Contact: ASK-OIR@JMU.EDU
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