Here's a glimpse into Lawrence's Institutional Research (IR) Office. In this section, we will summarize our functions and roles, standards and priorities, our career path, why we do this work, and what we enjoy about it.

Our Primary Functions and Roles

Lawrence’s Office of Institutional Research primary functions and roles involve a blend of institutional research and institutional effectiveness.

Under the Institutional Research umbrella, our office:

  • Serves as Lawrence’s official source of current and historical data, preserved by the University Archives. Collects, analyzes, provides context, reports, and warehouses quantitative and qualitative data about the institution.
  • Acts as the primary contact for state and federal entities, foundations, and grants for the purpose of coordinating, compiling, and submitting institutional data in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Produces the Lawrence University Fact Book to establish baselines and monitor benchmarks in pursuit of achieving institutional goals.
  • Conducts statistical analysis and benchmarking to produce information for decision support.
  • Leads efforts associated with our participation in national surveys, initiatives, and studies.
  • Serves the University by actively contributing knowledge, data, and expertise to task forces, committees, and groups.
  • Ensures the integrity of institutional data and coordinates with our partners to ensure the needed data fields are updated and accurately maintained.

Under the Institutional Effectiveness umbrella, our office:

  • Contributes actively to accreditation activities (i.e., creating evidence files for Year 4 Assurance Review and Year 10 Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation, leading Federal Compliance Review as part of Year 10 Comprehensive Evaluation, serving as data update coordinator).
  • Provides support to faculty for teaching, research, assessment, and/or service. Current support includes: administering surveys, (i.e., external review, faculty governance committee, reappointment/tenure/promotion, and grant-related), analyzing the data and preparing reports; assisting in the preparation of grant proposals, conducting program assessment/evaluation, and consulting. 
  • Collects, analyzes, and disseminates data for external review and academic/administrative program reviews.
  • Leads evaluation efforts for numerous grants. (Valuing Data)
  • Tracks and reports data to foundations and donors as a condition of funding.
  • Engages actively in developing a strategic plan including monitoring progress toward stated priorities and goals.
  • Contributes relevant data to monitor progress toward achieving strategic investment initiatives.
  • Identifies areas of improvement in data gathering processes and implements tactics with collaborators to achieve greater efficiencies across the institution.
  • Disseminates data through aggregated source files, discussions, visualizations, reports, presentations, and publications.

Our University Service

University leaders value data. They invite us to actively contribute knowledge, data, and expertise to University task forces, committees, and groups. They emphasize the importance of using data to make decisions. They are intentional about bringing data into conversations and acting on the data. Our service embodies a collaborative, holistic approach to serving students.

Current service includes:

  • Accreditation Committee,  
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Grant Core Team and Implementation Team,
  • Strategic Investment Planning Group,
  • Campus Master Planning Project Leadership Team, 
  • Retention Task Force,
  • EAB Leadership Team,
  • EAB Enterprise Data Management Collaborative,
  • Academic Program Review (Data Team & Consultant Liaison) 
  • Argos Power User Group, and
  • Data Visualization Group.

Recently concluded service includes:

  • Retention Working Group,
  • Work-Life Balance Group,
  • Task Force on Enrollment Size,
  • Strategic Planning Committee,
  • Strategic Equitable Enrollment Management Team, and
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism Guiding Coalition.

Our Standards

We adhere to standards when carrying out our primary functions and roles, and service to the University. Our staff:

  • Complies with the requirements of regional accreditation and federal reporting.
  • Contributes to the process of data governance through shared definitions and increased data literacy.
  • Adheres to guidelines of human subjects research by obtaining certification in human subjects training. Completes Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications.
  • Agrees with and follows the AIR Statement of Ethical Principles.
  • Practices equity-mindedness.
  • Engages in ongoing professional development within our field.

Our Career Path

Our IR career pathway has not been linear. Our liberal arts education has benefitted us as we navigated career changes, where we utilized the transferable skills we learned as undergraduates.                                  

Our Why

"Elevating voices and data to catalyze change" - Kristin McKinley 

Our Joy

"Making a positive impact on students and being a change agent" - Kristin McKinley