James Madison University

Office of Institutional Research

Volume 3, Issue 1
August 2002

About OIR

Mission Statement


New Division

The Office of Institutional Research this summer, as part of the reorganization that followed the retirement of Dr. Robert Scott, VP for Institutional Effectiveness, became part of the Division of Student Affairs, University Planning and Analysis. Planning and Analysis, under the direction of Dr. Al Menard,  is responsible for implementing JMU's planning process and institutional research and evaluation functions.

Table of Contents

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

Welcome New Faculty

The Office of Institutional Research welcomes you to the JMU family! OIR's mission is to assist the university in the pursuit of its mission by dynamically and efficiently supporting decision-making, accountability and planning. Our major functions include: developing, collecting, and communicating measures of institutional effectiveness; providing management information and policy analysis; promoting the university's planning process; and compiling and reporting mandated information.


Your Students' Research: OIR is not equipped to help students conduct their research on an ad hoc basis, but we have an extensive web site where they can gather an enormous amount of information about the university. We created our first Web-based Statistical Summary in 1995-96, so there is a rich source of information for your students to use. Previous versions going back to 1973 are available in Carrier Library. If you require students to conduct independent research for some project (speeches, etc.), we suggest that you send them to http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch . Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Recent Additions to OIR's Web Site:

We 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 2001-02.

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

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. A follow-up study is planned for 2002-03.

Recent Research Notes
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.

SCHEV Research Data Warehouse

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

Current Projects

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 Reaffirmation Committee

In April JMU was visited by a team of faculty and administrators from institutions throughout the southeastern United States. The purpose of the visit was to review the JMU Self-Study and talk with faculty, staff, and administrators about the university's compliance with the SACS Criteria for Accreditation. The Committee found JMU to be an excellent institution and only had 22 recommendations for improvement. This is a very small number considering that there are more than 550 "Must Statements" that apply to JMU. The administration is currently preparing the responses to the recommendations. More information will follow about the impact of the visit on JMU. JMU expects to receive its formal reaccredidation from SACS in December.

Kudos to Martha Ross, Director, Rob Koslow, Steering Committee Chair, and Tina Grace, SACS Secretary, for their tireless work on this project.


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. The first pages of the 2002-03 Statistical Summary will be posted in September.

JMU Portfolio

In December 2001 the JMU Portfolio was placed on the Web. 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.).

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

In 2001-02 JMU instituted a Planning Database to assist management in monitoring and documenting the achievement of JMU Defining Characteristics. The Planning Database is being revised by Information Technology with the next release scheduled for this fall. While the Planning Database certainly has some shortcomings, it has greatly improved the ability to monitor and document the progress that has been made with the Defining Characteristics. More information about Version 2 will follow in the fall.

OIR's 2002-03 Objectives

OIR has an aggressive agenda for 2002-03. Below are listed some of the major objectives for this year.

  • Increase information for senior management about trends in campus diversity.

  • Improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of University data from OIR's databases

  • Increase the availability of information about the facilities inventory and utilization through the Web.

  • Upgrade the Planning Database to improve functionality. Train users in the new application so that they can use the system appropriately.

  • Evaluate the economic impact of JMU on the local community by completing the economic impact study.

  • Deploy a Web-based performance measure application. Explore with the divisions the development of division-specific measures. Also explore the inclusion of performance measures in the Planning Database.

  • Increase the ability of users of the Planning Database to develop high quality, measurable objectives, expected outcomes, evaluation methods, annual reports of accomplishments, and follow-up recommendations.

  • Revise JMU's enrollment plan for the university community and SCHEV.

  • Assist Academic Affairs to gain knowledge about advising in the major for undergraduate and graduate students.


Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

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Publisher: JMU Institutional Research    For Information Contact: Institutional Research
James Madison University - Anthony Seeger, Rm 11, MSC 6807. Harrisonburg, VA 22807
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