James Madison University

Office of Institutional Research,
University Planning & Analysis

Volume 3, Issue 3
February 2003

About OIR

Mission Statement


About Planning & Analysis


  • Al Menard,
    Associate Vice President

  • Susan Linn,
    Executive Assistant

Table of Contents

The OIR staff have been busy with several major projects this fall and winter. Below are links to important additions to our Web site.

Your comments about the newsletter are appreciated.

Changes In Enrollment, Fall To Spring Terms

The Office of Institutional Research is responsible for enrollment projections for JMU. A major function of the projection process includes monitoring enrollment trends. Historically, this function has included monitoring fall-to-fall changes in enrollment to provide senior management with information upon which to anticipate annual revenue and the number of students by academic level who may enroll. In the past several years OIR has been asked to provide an estimate of the percentage of students who return for the spring term to help the budget office estimate spring revenue. Brief analyses have found that spring headcount declines between six and seven percent from fall.

Last fall OIR analyzed more thoroughly fall-to-spring changes to provide additional information to senior management and the budget office about retention and expected revenue for the spring term. The information in the Research Notes
summarized the findings.

  • The percent of fall students who return for the spring term, in terms of headcount and FTES, has remained remarkably steady for the last ten years.
  • The return rate for out-of-state students has been higher and more stable than for in-state students.
  • The percent of the spring students who are new or reenrolled from a previous academic year has varied during the ten years with a gradual decline in recent years. These fluctuations and decline can be attributed primarily to the changes in the number of spring transfers accepted. The lower percentage is likely to continue as the university attempts to control the number of spring transfers.
  • Given the findings detailed above, JMU can expect a revenue decline of approximately 6.5 to 7.0 percent from fall to spring. There are no discernable trends that are likely to change this percent decline.

See Research Notes

Recent Additions to OIR's Web Site:

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

Performance Measures and Peer Data

2001-03 Studies and Research Notes

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.

Current Projects

Continuing Student Survey (Survey 2002)

The Continuing Student Survey, Survey 2002, requests responses from JMU undergraduates about their perceptions and degree of satisfaction with James Madison University and their personal values and beliefs. The survey was first conducted twenty-four years ago. Through the cooperation of 39 faculty, Survey 2002 was administered during class time in late October and early November of 2002 to 2226 students in 70 sections. Respondents to Survey 2002 are representative of all JMU undergraduates with respect to gender, race and local and permanent residence. For a summary of results, please click here. This study was produced by Dr. Al Menard, AVP, University Planning and Analysis.

JMU Performance Measures Database

The Office of Institutional Research has been collecting performance information for many years. Three years ago we began building a database of these performance measures. The database allows for fast updates and reviews of the data by year and category. The database may be viewed by clicking here. Measures calculated during Fall 2002 are available here.

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. The data for 2002-03 will be available in February.

Financing of Higher Education in Virginia: Analysis and Issues
"All You Really Didn't Want To Know About JMU Finances, But Should Know."

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 February 2003.

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 has been revised by Information Technology with current users being trained to enter mid-year updates. While Version 1.0 of the Planning Database certainly has its shortcomings, it greatly improved the ability to monitor and document the progress that has been made with the Defining Characteristics. Version 2.0 if easier to use and has added significant functionality.

Statistical Summaries (link to all online)

Annually OIR produces a Statistical Summary of important information about JMU. In 1995-96 OIR placed its first Statistical Summary on the web. The 2002-03 Statistical Summary is complete.

Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.


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