Office Of Institutional Research

What is Institutional Research?

Peterson (1985) defines institutional research as "a critical intermediary function that links the educational, managerial, and information functions of higher education institutions." Saupe (1981) extends this definition by emphasizing the importance of internal data gathering and analysis to the management of post-secondary educational institutions.

Four basic activities describe institutional research:

collecting data about the performance of an institution,
collecting data about the environment of an institution,
analyzing and interpreting the collected data, and
transforming and interpreting data analyses into information that can be used to support the institutional planning, set institutional policies, and make academic and management decisions.


What are the functions of Institutional Research at Clemson University?

The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) serves as a comprehensive source for information about Clemson University. The primary goal of OIR is to collect, comprehend, combine, and analyze data pertaining to a range of operational activities at Clemson, and to store these data in a historical database that can be referenced in the future. OIR is also concerned with the systematic evaluation of educational programs, educational support services, administrative processes, and financial resources in order to assist in identifying the strengths and weakness of the institution.


What kinds of data are available?

General and historical
Data about students (enrollment and credit hour data, demography, and degrees awarded)
Faculty and staff demography
Facilities and associated utilization
Financial information (tuition and fees, financial aid, revenues and expenditures, grants and contracts, and endowments)


Who may have access to these data?

Summaries and analyses are available to students, faculty, or staff in academic or support units needing information for publicity, presentations, reports, grants and contracts, public relations, news releases, or other legitimate university functions.


Are comparative data available?

Clemson University is a participating member of the Southern University Group (SUG), an association of 28 regional institutions established as a data exchange group. As a member of this group, the office of Institutional Research has access to summaries of data on enrollment, tuition and fees, teaching loads, faculty and administrative salaries, graduate stipends, and expenditures and revenues. Information is also available from a number of additional universities, from regional or national reports, and from the U.S. Department of Education.


A reminder . . .

In order to maintain a complete and comprehensive database, a copy of all reports submitted by the University to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE), accrediting agencies, or to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), should be sent to the Office of Institutional Research.


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Developed and Maintained by Nancy James
Last Revised: February 5, 2007