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Effectiveness of Data Gathering and Analysis Systems

Since the last review, the amount and variety of institutional research data have increased substantially and have become much more accessible to academic departments and administrative units. Three departments, Analytical Studies and Space Planning, Student Research and Information, and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research carry out the majority of campus institutional research endeavors. Each of these offices is responsible for extracting, analyzing, and disseminating institutional research data to the campus community and the general public. On a centralized level, student, financial, and payroll/personnel data are stored in campus-wide databases maintained by Administrative Computing and Telecommunications (ACT). This wealth of information is now accessible to the offices mentioned above, to academic departments, other administrative units, and often to the general public via easy-to-use, web-based query tools designed by ACT. In addition, each of the campus institutional research offices has expanded the breadth and depth of analytical studies available on the internet. The result has been that academic departments and other administrative units on campus can use these studies to make informed decisions concerning current business practices and that students and the general public can determine how well UCSD is doing in fulfilling the University mission of education, research, and public service. One anticipated outcome of the current accreditation self-study is that a web-based Institutional Data Portfolio, to be housed at accreditation website, will be established beginning with the Institutional Proposal in October 2005. This site will be substantially completed by the time the Capacity and Preparatory Review is submitted in 2007 and will then be regularly updated until October 2009 when the Educational Effectiveness site visit is completed. After October 2009, the Portfolio will continue to be revised and expanded for use as a permanent, up-to-date resource for the campus community and the general public.

Over the past few years, UCSD has broadened its use of institutional research data from other universities. While we continue to compare important campus institutional indicators with those of other UC campuses and a standard group of comparison universities-UCSD's "Comparison 8" institutions are Harvard, MIT, Stanford, SUNY-Buffalo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Yale-we now include information from sister institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Further, the campus is actively participating and assuming a leadership role in the AAU Data Exchange (AAUDE). This group is dedicated to expanding the variety and improving the quality of institutional indicators and other data. For example, UCSD is now able to compare key quantitative indicators such as faculty salaries by discipline, overall financial capacity, faculty and staff population analyses, and student retention rates with other AAU schools. In addition to standard datasets, there is a provision for any member to make ad hoc queries of the group, directed to a whole or particular subset of the AAU. As a benefit of this association, UCSD will be able to utilize information from a recent ad hoc query related to descriptions of student-learning outcome assessments and corresponding identification of responsible administrative units, as we work to incorporate best practices into evaluation of programs.