Institutional Research and Themes, North America
Institutional research refers to the organized activities performed by professional and academic staff to inform planning and decision-making within postsecondary (higher education and tertiary) institutions. The term broadly refers to the provision of decision-support information in the postsecondary sector regardless of its level of organization or formality (Saupe 1990), and to the application of research and analysis to the practice of administering postsecondary institutions, regardless of whether it is applied to decision-making (Terenzini 1999). However, in this entry we consider specifically the organized activity of institutional research as it is practiced by staff who are employed by postsecondary institutions, typically (but not always) in academic and administrative support units to provide other academic and administrative staff with decision support and related analytic information. The qualifier, “typically”...
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