Okigbo, Carol Azuka; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
Institutional Research in Higher Education: Chief Academic Officers’ Perspectives
Major Professor: Dr. Ron Stammen
The purpose of the study was to explore academic officers’ views and expectations of institutional research offices and how their expectations related to the use of institutional data for making decisions in higher education. This purpose was pursued through seven research questions that addressed the use of institutional data, capabilities, effectiveness, expectations, future roles of the institutional research office, and factors that predispose data use when making decisions.
Qualitative and quantitative data were collected by means of a survey questionnaire instrument. The target population was academic officers from doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate institutions in the United States of America according to the 2006 Carnegie classification. A total of 332 academic officers participated in this study by responding to the questionnaire, thereby providing the data that were analyzed.
The result showed that academic officers consider institutional research offices’ tasks to be important. They consider institutional research offices to be capable of performing their functions, thus relying on these offices for data when making decisions.
The study found a significant relationship between academic officers’ expectations of the institutional research office and utilization of institutional data in decision-making. It was concluded that academic officers who had high expectations of the institutional research office were more likely to use institutional research data for decision-making.
The study found that academic officers differed in their views of the institutional research office’s effectiveness and the factors that predispose them to use institutional data for decision-making. Academic officers from associate institutions were significantly different from their counterparts at doctoral and master’s institutions, but marginally different from those from baccalaureate institutions, in their views of institutional research office effectiveness. Also, associate institutions were significantly different from doctoral institutions, but not from master’s and baccalaureate institutions, in their views about predisposing factors. Specific areas of institutional data use, academic officers’ expectations of institutional research offices institutional research offices’ capabilities, determinants of institutional research offices’ effectiveness, future roles of institutional research offices, and factors that predispose academic officers to use institutional research data were identified through qualitative analyses of open-ended questions.