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Institutional Research Quarterly Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 4
July 2003

About OIR

Mission Statement


About Planning & Analysis


  • Al Menard,
    Associate Vice President

  • Susan Linn,
    Executive Assistant

Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

2001-03 Research Notes

Table of Contents

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

Your comments about the newsletter are appreciated.

Research Notes
Major Trends At JMU, 1990-91 To 2002-03

James Madison University has changed dramatically in the last dozen years. The growth from 11,000 students to nearly 16,000 students has had a major impact on the university's academic offerings, physical plant, its faculty and staff, and the Harrisonburg community. While some changes have been fairly dramatic, some equally important changes have occurred slowly and only reveal their importance over a relatively long period of time. The purpose of this Research Notes is to highlight the major changes in JMU and raise some possible implications for the next ten years.

What is remarkable about these trends is that while students and faculty have changed significantly during a very difficult financial climate, JMU students continue to graduate at a very high rate and express very high levels of satisfaction with the university. One might expect that a growth of almost 45 percent in twelve years would have a significant impact on student perceptions of the institution and how they perform academically. By all indicators, JMU continues to be a very positive place for students, both academically and socially. It is a testament to the skill and quality of the instructional faculty that they continue to provide an excellent educational experience despite the large changes in the faculty and students.

What are the implications for the next ten years for JMU from these trends? A few possibilities are noted below:

  • The increased percentage of students who are female has had an impact on the social and academic environment of the university.

  • While the percentage of minority students at JMU has remained fairly constant, the dramatic decline in African-American students has been a source of concern to many individuals.

  • The continued financial stress of the Commonwealth will likely result in students funding higher percentages of their total education.
  • The Commonwealth is expecting more than 38,000 additional students to seek higher education by 2010. Most Virginia public institutions, including JMU, will not likely increase undergraduate enrollment unless sufficient funding and facilities are provided. The implication is that JMU will become even more highly selective.

You may view the entire Research Notes at:

Facilities Inventory and Utilization Reports

Annually 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.

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 2002-03 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.


Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention Survey

The Office of Institutional Research assisted the Affirmative Action Office in the development, deployment and analysis of this survey in the spring. More than 50 percent of those to whom the survey was sent responded. The data are currently being analyzed, but below are some summary information for new faculty. A formal report will be shared with the university community in August.

Most important reason for new faculty (5 years or less at JMU) for accepting employment.

  1. Staff collegiality

  2. Opportunities for professional growth

  3. Support for creative ideas

  4. Sense of community between faculty and students

  5. Benefits

  6. Student attitudes toward academics

  7. Opportunities for professional contributions

Most important factors related to their decision to remain at JMU.

  1. Staff collegiality

  2. Support for creative ideas

  3. Sense of community between faculty and students

  4. Opportunities for professional growth

  5. Opportunities for professional contributions

  6. Benefits

  7. Student attitudes toward academics

  8. Opportunities for promotion

  9. JMU reputation

A Faculty in Transition: A Study of the Changes in James Madison University's Instructional Faculty Since 1986; 2003 Update

The study of instructional faculty was designed to explore the ways the JMU faculty have changed since 1986 and provide useful information to the university community. As a result of these analyses, several important trends have emerged.

  • The number of full-time faculty has grown in proportion to increases in students, but the percentage of faculty with tenure has decreased significantly in the last five years to 50 percent. In the last five years the number of full-time faculty per FTE student has decreased by more than 1.4.
  • The percentage of faculty holding the terminal degree increased from 70 percent in 1986 to 84 percent in 2002.
  • The JMU faculty is more diverse than in 1986. Non-Caucasian faculty increased from four percent in 1986 to ten percent in 2002. Women now constitute 38 percent of faculty, up from 26 percent in 1986.
  • The JMU faculty is more likely to have come to JMU in the last five years. Almost half (47 percent) of faculty has five years or less experience at JMU. This compares with 32 percent in 1990. The average number of years experience declined from an average of11.6 in 1990 to 10.3 in 2002.

  • Fifty-seven percent of new tenure-track assistant professors are still employed by JMU after seven years.

  • Annual changes in the average JMU faculty salary since 1987-88 has ranged from 10.1 percent in 1989-90 to Ė1.8 percent in 1992-93. Since 2000-01 the average faculty salary has declined by 0.6 percent. Annual changes in total compensation (salary + fringe benefits) ranged from 10.8 percent in 1989-90 to Ė4.0 percent in 1991-92. In 2002-03 compensation decreased by 1.7 percent from 2001-02. In 2002-03 benefits accounted for 27.2 percent of total compensation.

  • The typical JMU faculty member spends a higher percentage of his or her time in instructional activities than 25 years ago. The average faculty member works 54 hours per week, which has changed little since 1974. However, the typical faculty member devotes 70 percent of his or her total hours to instruction, up from 60 percent in 1986 and 56 percent in 1974.

  • The most recent student-to-faculty ratio, 17.4:1, is the lowest in the last ten years, down from 19.2:1 in 1997.

A Study of the Changes in James Madison University's Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Since 1989.

This brief historical study of JMUís full-time staff has revealed several important conclusions.

  • JMU is an efficient user of its resources. For the past 12 years JMU has devoted a small proportion of its expenditures to institutional support when compared to instruction/academic support. This is especially evident when this proportion is compared

  • to JMUís peer institutions and the Virginia comprehensive institutions.

  • Full-time faculty (44 percent) and full-time non-instructional faculty and staff (46 percent) have grown at a slightly greater percentage than total students (41 percent).

  • Overall, JMUís full-time staff are more diverse than in 1989. In particular, instructional faculty gender and ethnic diversity have increased more than non-instructional staff. Fulltime

  • instructional ethnic diversity now is similar to the student body.

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