Institutional research departments struggle to keep up with demand

March 3, 2015

A new study published by the US National Association of System Heads (NASH) examines challenges and opportunities facing institutional research (IR) departments. The study suggests that IR departments are facing greater pressure than ever before: where they were once expected primarily to ensure institutions' compliance with certain regulations governing data submissions, they are now being asked to do more tracking of their own. Many IR departments are unable to keep up with the demand for their services, or lack the information that they need to address critical performance questions. The field has improved its data collection capabilities in areas such as student success, but many departments have not kept up with tracking other issues, such as managing resources, controlling costs and tuition, and meeting workforce needs. IR heads say that they are not well equipped to meet growing demands on their departments, while institutional leaders say that weaknesses in IR inhibit their ability to address legitimate areas of concern. Inside Higher Ed | Full Report