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Wednesday, 30 September 2020 11:00 AM - Friday, 2 October 2020 1:00 PM MST
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Individual Membership/Conference registration
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 11:00 AM - Friday, 2 October 2020 1:00 PM MST
50th Annual Rocky Mountain Association for Institutional Research (RMAIR) Conference & RMAIR Membership Drive
September 30-October 2
As our 50th Annual RMAIR Conference approaches, we head into new territory with our first virtual conference, which is free to all fee-paying RMAIR members. We are excited about the sessions that we are offering and look forward to reaching even more members than an on-site conference would allow.
Because our conference is virtual, it will be in a simplified format with live, interactive sessions over Zoom mid-day each day of the conference with a nice mix of pre-recorded, on-demand presentations by our members and sponsors, as well as an opportunity for virtual social networking. Members will have access to all presentations after the conference as well.
Here is the preliminary conference agenda. As a teaser, we will kick off our conference with a discussion of the AIR Statement of Ethical Principles with Christine Keller, AIR Executive Director, and Heather Kelley, AIR Board of Directors President. It’s sure to be a great kickoff.
The annual RMAIR business meeting will be held on the final day. It will include annual updates and discussion topics on which member feedback is important, such as proposed changes to the dues structure and Best Paper/Best Presentation Award Guidelines.
To receive priority access for the conference, please sign up or renew your membership ($35) by September 25. Late signups will be accepted. Members will receive an email with instructions for accessing the conference before it begins.
The Rocky Mountain Association for Institutional Research (RMAIR) is the premier membership organization for higher education professionals in the fields of Institutional Research, Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment, and Accreditation. Established in 1971, the Association includes members from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
RMAIR strives to create a friendly spirit of unity and cooperation among members.
Members benefit and assist each other by:
* Advancing knowledge and expertise leading to the improved understanding, planning, and operation of institutions of higher education.
* Providing avenues for renewal and professional development by offering annual meetings during which research findings and methods can be exchanged through paper presentations, workshops, and seminars.
* Promoting activities in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).
Bob led Gray’s entry into the education industry and the development of Gray’s proprietary industry databases and service offerings. He has worked with most of Gray’s education clients, consulting with Provosts, Chancellors, Presidents, CFOs, and Deans on institutional strategy, pricing, location selection, and program portfolio strategy. His work has contributed to the launch of new programs that have generated millions of dollars in new revenue and substantial cost reductions. Recent education clients include the University of Cincinnati, Bay Path University, Western Kentucky University, Northern New Mexico Community College and other public, private, and for-profit trade schools, colleges, and universities.
Prior to founding Gray, Bob helped AT&T, American Express, HP, IBM, and other technology companies develop growth strategies, enter new markets, and build their sales and channel organizations. He is a published author, whose articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Sales and Marketing Management, and other publications around the world. He received an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School and a BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.
Danette Barber is a Research Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research at Nevada State College. Her work examines the contributions of student engagement in campus resources and activities to success outcomes such as retention and graduation.
Celeste Calkins is an Institutional Research Data Analyst at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from UNLV. She earned two Master's degrees one in Career and Technical Education and one in Adult and Community Education from Ball State University. Her research interests are vast, however her focus is primarily around faculty issues including faculty motivation to teach, faculty diversity, faculty progression in promotion and tenure, and faculty teaching effectiveness. She also is motivated to improve the course evaluation process through researching how grading impacts course evaluations, and ultimately the validity and reliability of that evaluation process in terms of our understanding of teaching effectiveness.
John (Skip) Crooker earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Iowa State University in 1998. His first faculty appointment was at Texas Tech University where he joined the Department of Economics in 1999. In 2002, Dr. Crooker returned to his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Central Missouri (UCM). Dr. Crooker was promoted through the faculty ranks and became a Full Professor of Economics in 2011. At UCM, he also has served as Department of Economics and Finance Chair, Director of the MBA program, Associate Dean of the School of Business, and Director of Institutional Research. Today, Dr. Crooker is the Associate Vice Provost of Decision Support at UNLV. In this role, Dr. Crooker serves as the Director of Institutional Research and Institutional Effectiveness. His research interests include Higher Education topics, sports economics, and applied econometric studies. Dr. Crooker teaches Introduction to Econometrics in the Spring terms for the Department of Economics at UNLV.
Tondra De is currently Chief of Staff to the Provost at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She has held a variety of research and administrative positions in higher education.
Dr. Brent Drake currently serves as the Vice Provost of Decision Support at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he focuses on data related to student attainment and learning, overall institutional effectiveness, institutional reporting, faculty activity, and data analytics. Through his work at UNLV Brent advocates for increased access to tools and research directed at university faculty, administration, and students to guide a better informed university decision making process, such as how policies and practices impact institutional goals like student achievement, retention and completion.
Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Brent worked for 16.5 years at Purdue University, with his final position being the Chief Data Officer, overseeing the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness. He began his career at Purdue in 2001 as the assessment coordinator for the Lily Endowment retention initiatives at Purdue University. Brent earned all three of his degrees from Purdue. His B.A. was earned in 1995 in athletic training, M.S. in 1997 in Sports Psychology and Ph.D. in 2009 in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in both motivation theory and psychometrics.
He presents and publishes on a number of topics in higher education including motivational models related to student success, retention enhancing programs, business intelligence and data analytics, enrollment modeling, recruitment, enrollment trends and student success efforts. Brent also serves as a fellow for research and innovation with the John Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
Paris Edeburn, PMP, Wyoming Community College Commission, Chief Technology Officer: Paris has over 25 years of experience in the technology and business field. She is the Executive Sponsor and provides project oversight for the Wyoming Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS). She is a member of the Wyoming Community College CIO council and chairperson for the SLEDS Data Governance Committee.
Louisa Hunkerstorm has been the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Central Wyoming College since 2015. Her work focuses on planning, continuous quality improvement, and facilitating data-based decision making to improve student success.
Michelle Kearns, EdD, is the Associate Vice President for Student Success and Retention at Utah Valley University. She has 28 years of experience in higher education holding leadership roles in both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. While at UVU, Dr. Kearns oversaw the implementation of a $3 million Title III grant which resulted in a 14-percentage point increase in retention and she also led the development of a campus-wide completion plan now being implemented. Dr. Kearns is a passionate advocate for student success, recognized with the UVU Trustee and Presidential Awards, TRIO Employee of the Year, and NASPA’s Outstanding Senior-Level Professional. Dr. Kearns earned a doctorate degree in Education with an emphasis on Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University with a research focus on student success. She also earned a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Dr. Kearns also holds certificates in Student Affairs Law & Policy, Women’s Leadership, and Online Teaching.
Christine M. Keller, Ph.D.,?is the Executive Director & CEO of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). AIR is a nonprofit, higher education association with over 3,000 members that creates and disseminates research and innovative practices; fosters strategic partnerships to support collaboration and learning; and advocates for the effective use of data.
A long-time member before joining AIR, Christine was formerly the Vice President for Research and Policy Analysis at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Assistant Director of Institutional Research and Planning at the University of Kansas. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Kansas and serves on the National Survey of Student Engagement Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Education National Postsecondary Education Cooperative panel, and several other national committees.
Heather Kelly is the Director of Institutional Research at the University of Delaware. Her areas of expertise include institutional effectiveness and faculty workload. She serves as an Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) and an Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). She is the President of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), past Board Treasurer of AIR, and past President and Treasurer of the North East Association for Institutional Research (NEAIR). She was the recipient of the 2015 NEAIR Distinguished Service Award. She received a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Smith College. She is also a graduate of the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Bryn Mawr Summer Institute.
Mark Leany is a Senior Research Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research (IR) at Utah Valley University (UVU). He has worked with IR at UVU for the past 13 years, and has been working specifically with Michelle Kearns and her team in Student Success and Retention for about 3 years. He has a B.S. in Statistics/Computer Science from BYU, and an M.A. in Communication from BYU. He continues to learn, including earning a Certificate of Proficiency in Data Analytics at UVU. He also dabbles in predictive analytics in his spare time, and has won awards with idea competitions through Innocentive (now part of Wazoku).
Dr. Massy, an emeritus professor and former officer of Stanford University, has been active as a teacher/researcher, consultant, and university administrator for more than forty years. After gaining tenure in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, he served the central administration as Vice Provost for Research, Acting Provost, and Vice President for Business and Finance—during which time he developed and pioneered financial planning and management tools that have become standard in the field—and then as Professor of Higher Education working on resource allocation, cost containment, and academic quality assurance and improvement. He co-directed the Department of Education’s National Center for Postsecondary Improvement from 1996 to 2002, served on Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee from 1991 to 2003, and since 2010 has been an Honorary Faculty Fellow at the University of Melbourne (AU).
Dr. Massy most recent books are "Resource Management for Colleges and Universities" and "Reengineering the University: How to Be Mission Centered, Market Smart, and Margin Conscious" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020 and 2016). He holds a Ph.D. in economics and MS in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BS from Yale University.
Nicole McNeal, PMP, Synesis Consulting, LLC, President: Nicole has 22 years of management consulting experience and 20 years of experience serving as an industry leader and strategic advisor for public-sector clients. She specializes in data governance programs and system implementation projects.
She is serving as the Program Management Office lead for Wyoming's implementation of the Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS). She helped establish the program's governance structure, develop the project plan and scope, build policies and procedures, facilitate stakeholder buy-in, and conduct overall project reporting.
firstname.lastname@example.orgDr. Kelli Rainey joined Campus Labs as assistant vice president, campus strategy in Spring 2019. In this role, she provides specialized consultation for campuses eager to implement organizational strategies that ensure institutional vitality and works with campuses on strategic planning, accreditation preparation and assessment planning.Having worked in higher education for two decades, Rainey has an extensive background in enrollment management, student development, and institutional effectiveness. Previously, she provided strategic leadership in a dual role as vice president for academic and student support services and chief operating officer for institutional effectiveness at Johnson C. Smith University. She served as a key advisor to senior administrators on strategies and initiatives to support student learning, service delivery, workplace efficiencies and organizational effectiveness. Moreover, as a former SACSCOC accreditation liaison, Rainey is well versed in regional accreditation standards, regulations and procedures for effective demonstration of institutional compliance.Additional leadership roles during her impressive tenure at Johnson C. Smith University include serving as dean of academic support services, institutional accreditation liaison, and director of the office of institutional planning, assessment, effectiveness and research. Rainey also has experience teaching first-year students the skills necessary to ensure a successful college career and the fundamental practices of exemplary leadership in organizations.Rainey holds a doctorate in higher education and organizational change from Benedictine University and a graduate certificate in institutional research from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a master’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in industrial and organizational development from Fairfield University and a bachelor’s degree from Lynchburg College.
Qing received her doctoral degrees of Educational and Developmental Psychology from Beijing Normal University and Teacher Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She is an Institutional Research Data Analyst at the Office of Decision at UNLV. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches and a variety of analytic tools, Qingmin provides statistical and strategic analyses of elements relevant to the effectiveness of student success initiatives, academic programs, and campus-wide innovations to support decision making. She presents and publishes empirical studies examining the impacts of 15-to-Finish, high-impact practices, first-year seminars, undergraduate research, and academic advising on student success.
Lisa Stich, Ph.D., has a passion for student success, and for data-informed organizational systems that promote dialogue, transparency, and collaboration. As a result, she applied her twenty-five plus years in higher education (beginning as faculty member, Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment Specialist, Dean, and mostly recently Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at a community & technical college) to the National Student Clearinghouse. She is currently Senior Specialist, Data Partnerships in support of the Postsecondary Data Partnership, a transformative tool designed to help colleges and universities measure institutional outcomes and grow student success.
Lisa has been active at national and local levels and was selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence in 2018/2019. Lisa served as President of the Board of the National Council of Instructional Administrators, Director on the Board of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, and member of the Michigan Community College Advisory Board for Student Success. She holds a doctorate in education from Capella University, a master’s in health administration from Cardinal Stritch College, a bachelor’s in psychology from Ripon College, and another bachelor’s in health record administration from Emory University. She was a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and a past grant reviewer for the Department of Labor.
Matt Swaffer is a senior software and technical architect working with Cognitell. He has experience designing systems that extract information and knowledge from data, enabling intelligent reasoning. In addition, he has a background in Educational Psychology with a research focus on cognitive psychology in human learning with expertise in measurement and data analysis.
Jason Terry is the Program Manager for Completion Initiatives at Utah Valley University. He has eight years’ experience within higher education during which he has worked in the offices of recruitment, development, academic affairs, student affairs, and the Professional Association of Campus Employees (PACE). As a student, Jason received the Spirit of Leadership award from the UVU Center for the Advancement of Leadership (CAL), the Wolverine Achievement Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service, and was chosen as the 2019 Harvard Graduate School of Education class marshal. He has worked closely on educational projects with Google, the Vatican, and Wasatch Mental Health. Jason holds a Master’s of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an Accounting degree from Utah Valley University.
Dr. Sandip Thanki is the Director of Institutional Research and Associate Professor of Astronomy at Nevada State College. He provides strategic analysis for campus-wide decision making. His work investigates factors that contribute to persistence (both retention and graduation), particularly for historically underrepresented students.
When I was learning to read as a child, I struggled tremendously due to poor vision; I was legally blind in my left eye. The thing that finally helped me break through was when my Dad would ask me questions about the box scores in the newspaper. I have loved numbers and data ever since.
I am a Business Data Analyst at the University of Utah in the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis. I have been in IA for four and a half years and greatly enjoy the work. In my current role, I work with people from across campus to discover and meet their data needs.
I hold a BS in Economics and an MStat in Econometrics, both from the University of Utah.
National Student Clearinghouse
AIR Ethics Statement: http://airweb.org/ethics
As data professionals, we expect each other to approach our work with integrity. And yet we know that many situations and issues are not always straightforward, including ethical boundaries. What raises concern for some of us may be clear-cut for others. It is helpful and necessary to have a professional foundation and reference point when questions arise, and the AIR Statement of Ethical Principles (January 2020) serves this important purpose. However, the existence of ethical principles is not enough; the true value is in the application of these principles. Join us for a dynamic conversation about what it means for the RMAIR and AIR community to embrace a shared vision of ethical practice, including examples and ideas on how to apply these principles in our work.
Association for Institutional Research
Director of Institutional Research and AIR President
University of Delaware
This presentation will demonstrate that utilizing a New Student Intake Survey not only increases the data context around a student, but it also allows predicting student success and retention very early in the semester, even for new students.? The better data context is achieved through understanding the underlying factors that may be affecting student success at that point in time; think COVID and all the disruptions it caused for students this year.? We demonstrate that with the use of a tailored survey, we can make better predictions of student success, and intervene for situations that are not easily found using demographic data.
A live Q&A session with the presenters will be on Wednesday, September 30, from 1:15-1:30 pm MDT.
Director of Institutional Effectiveness
Central Wyoming College
Senior IT Consultant
UPDATED: A recording of this presentation is now available for replay on the vimeo link.
This is a live follow-up Q&A session to the New Student Intake Survey & Student Success Predictions on-demand presentation.
The IPEDS Outcome Measures changed the playing field. Utah Valley University (UVU) is now more accountable for completion rates of students who are Transfer, Part-Time, and seeking ANY degree. UVU redesigned completion calculations and predictions to more accurately reflect its student body. This model creates an explanatory visualization with yearly steps of available data looking seven years in advance. This presentation will discuss programs, initiatives, and strategies implemented to help UVU reach its Outcome Measures goal. The ultimate goal of predictive analytics is to change the future.
Associate Vice President for Student Success and Retention
Utah Valley University
Senior Research Analyst
Program Manager for Completion Initiatives
Among the important roles of the IA/IR office is providing a 10-year enrollment projection to school and state officials for budgetary purposes. This presentation will look at 2 Statistical methods (OLS regression and ARIMA) to examine how this projection can be made using statistical analysis in an easy-to-understand walkthrough.
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Business Data Analyst
University of Utah
This study examines how student evaluation of teaching (SET) is related to instructors’ grading practice, instructor characteristics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, rank), student variables (e.g., GPA, gender, academic level), and students’ perceptions about course grade and course challenge. The results reveal that SETs are positively related to the grade a student received and their perception of course challenge and grade. Grading leniency, cumulative semester GPA, faculty gender, ethnicity, and rank also were significant contributors to the model. The preliminary analysis explains more than 62% of the variation in individual SET based on the chosen control variables.
Institutional Research Data Analyst
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Associate Vice Provost/Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
Faculty are our most direct link with students. They have regularly scheduled classes with them that provide opportunities for observing both positive developments and emerging concerns. Further, without their efforts, measuring educational program effectiveness would be impossible. In this short session, Campus Labs provides strategies for engaging with faculty to deepen our commitment to student success, and program effectiveness.
Assistant Vice President for Campus Strategy
The State of Wyoming is currently implementing a statewide longitudinal education data system (SLEDS) to capture and report on educational and workforce measures. This implementation is a result of an unprecedented level of interagency collaboration across the Wyoming Department of Education, the Department of Workforce Services, all of the Wyoming community colleges, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Community College Commission. These entities developed a governance structure fostering integration and analysis of a broad range of data sources to inform education and workforce policy and decision-making. This effort is occurring with a governance structure that utilizes Zoom for a broad majority of interactions, including researchers, data stewards, and leadership. This session explores the primary objectives of SLEDS, anticipated results and outcomes, and future planning. It also explores how the data governance structure instills privacy, confidentiality, and secure data transmission and sharing.
Chief Technology Officer
Wyoming Community College Commission
President, Synesis Consulting
The Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) is a nationwide effort to help colleges and universities gain a fuller picture of student successes and areas to target for improvement. With the PDP Tableau dashboards, you can:
• measure whether students are on track, and where to intervene,
• access data on all new students,
• save time and resources on reporting requirements,
• identify where to focus your resources, and
• assess the effectiveness of your reforms.
This interactive workshop will begin with an overview for participants unfamiliar with the project. Then using the dashboards and case study exercises, participants will explore the utility of the PDP.
Senior Specialist, Data Partnerships
National Student Clearinghouse
This session will share techniques to build statistical test functionality within Tableau to examine categorical and continuous variable significant differences in outcomes. Tableau is a powerful dashboarding tool that helps create interactive views to slice facts by dimensions. This tool can help compare facts, but currently does not support statistical tests. Basic mathematical operations within Tableau can be used to build basic statistical tests. During this workshop, assuming no prior knowledge of statistical analysis or Tableau, we will build a dashboard with functionality for examining statistical differences, via Chi-Square tests and t-tests.
Nevada State College
Director of Institutional Research
What metrics are useful in determining if a new academic program will be feasible or not? Utah Valley University has struggled with this question and has devised a feasibility process that takes data into account when considering to offer new programs. After years of trying to be all things to all students with a “build it and they will come” mentality, where programs were determined through horse trading by the college Deans, we have found a better way to determine the feasibility of new proposed programs.
Director, Academic Quality Assurance & RMAIR Treasurer
On March 23, 2020, in the face of COVID-19, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) went to full remote status for the spring 2020 semester. The decision was made at the system level for Nevada public institutions to utilize a hybrid online/on-campus approach to the fall semester. This presentation will examine how the Office of Decision Support and the Registrar's office utilized course network and space capacity research to modify the fall 2020 schedule in real time to respond to the public health crisis.
Vice Provost, Decision Support
Financial sustainability is a critical issue for institutions and their accreditors, but most institutions are missing critical data: they do not know the economics of their courses and programs. Worse still, many rely heavily on cost data to inform their decisions, while neglecting the revenue and margin that programs may generate. IR can play a critical role in developing systems to understand instructional economics. We will share a methodology for calculating revenue, cost, and margin for academic courses and programs–data that should inform any decision on growing, cutting, or adding faculty and the courses and programs they teach. We will also discuss strategies for incorporating this data into the program and course decision-making process.
CEO and Founder
Gray Associates, Inc
RMAIR Election Results
Best Presentation/Best Paper Award Change Proposal
Future RMAIR Conferences
Adjourn (Social Mixer and Giveaways to Follow)
RMAIR Past President
RMAIR Vice President
University of Dallas
RMAIR President & Co-Program Director, Institutional Research Manager
Session not recorded.
Wrap up Session
A chance to network with colleagues and discuss the "state of your state" as it pertains to IR and higher ed. Giveaways for those in attendance!
RMAIR Co-Program Director
University of Wyoming
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions of higher education used to conducting their operations in person quickly transitioned them to remote. A variety of administrative and academic units that traditionally performed all their activities on campus or provided services face-to-face were required to move them online. After nearly six months of primarily remote operations, colleges and universities are questioning whether some of these functions should continue to be remote even after the pandemic ends. This presentation will consider major university functions by category, and through a reviewing existing research, identify the advantages and disadvantages of remote operations for each.
Chief of Staff
On-demand video not yet available. Please check back!
This session will focus on both completed and planned future actions related to the Common Course Numbering System in Wyoming. This session will include a status update on current progress and integration with the AcademyOne product as well as outline what lies ahead as we enter into the Maintenance Plan after the Initial Stage of the project.
Education Programs Manager
Associate Professor (Biology)
Professor of English
Northern Wyoming Community College District
Student Records Specialist
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