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IRP Annual Report 2012-2013

Fiscal Year 2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013)

Department of Institutional Research and Planning

Name of department chairperson or director: Dr. Kim Metcalf


1. Departmental Mission Statement

The University of West Georgia’s strong commitment to "Educational Excellence in a Personal Environment" is central to the mission of the Department of Institutional Research and Planning. The Department has, as its primary mission, the collection of data (from both internal and external sources), and timely analysis, distribution, and presentation of information for use in planning, decision-making, and policy formulation at the University.

The Department is also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of vital University statistics and for reporting these data to a broad spectrum of stakeholders including regulatory entities, management, faculty, private organizations, parents and the general public. Another major function of the Department is to respond to diverse requests for data from members of the University community and to assist with research and analysis.

Institutional Research and Planning also serves as records custodian for the University of West Georgia. In this capacity, it promotes an efficient administration and management of State governmental records in compliance with the Georgia Records Act and the Georgia Open Records Act. Institutional Research and Planning also advises departments on appropriate records keeping techniques and guides in developing records retention schedules.

2. Departmental Goals for This Reporting Year

During fiscal year 2012-2013, the Department of Institutional Research and Planning pursued the following goals:

3. Assessment Summary of Departmental Goals Addressed This Academic Year

Assessment of Goal 1 (SACS/COC) is primarily based on review of the departmental work log which reflects the timeliness and thoroughness of responses to data requests made by representatives of Academic Affairs for data related to preparation of this report.

Assessment of Goal 2 (external reporting) is primarily based on review of the departmental work log and on the proportion of required reports submitted without errors and on deadline.

Assessment of Goal 3 (staff revision) is reflected in completion of a job reclassification through HR and successful appointment of a qualified individual to fill this position.

Assessment of Goal 4 (improvement in records management) is based on observation and feedback from representatives of the Enrollment Services Center indicating the quality and timeliness of institutional response to investigators' records requests. Additionally, the departmental log reflects the proportion of records requests to which timely and complete responses were made during the year.

Assessment of Goal 5 (IRP proposal) is reflected in development and submission of a proposal detailing such a revision and acceptance of this proposal by the President.

4. Changes/Improvements Made as a Result of Assessment

Goal 1: All requested SACS/COC reports that could be developed given constraints of University data systems were completed. However, this set of tasks clearly demonstrated a need to develop an integrated, comprehensive, and standardized system for maintaining university-wide (cross divisional) databases.

Goal 2: All requisite reports to be prepared and submitted to external agencies were completed. However, this process revealed serious issues in data management associated with space utilization and with the interelation of data from Academic Affairs and HR on faculty. These issues were considered and discussed in the proposal developed in relation to Goal 4.

Goal 3: In collaboration with ITS and HR, the formerly upper level Research Analyst position was redesigned as a considerably lower level position responsible primarily for management of the IRP website.

Goal 4: IRP staff participated in regular professional development associated with current records management processes and procedures; and all Open Records requests received by the University during the year were addressed. However, while records management within IRP aligns with current standards of practice, much work remains to implement standard procedures for this work throughout the campus.

Goal 5: A white paper describing the current operations of IRP and proposing specific stratagies for improving the functioning and contributions of the office was prepared, submitted to the President, and presented formally to the President's Advisory Council. On the basis of these activities, it is anticipated that the scope and nature of IRP responsibilities will be refined and expanded.


The Strategic Plan (2010-2015) is designed to shape the University of West Georgia for the next five years in such a way as to place it as a destination university, particularly among peer universities in the state of Georgia and among those universities in the nation granting doctoral degrees in programs that balance liberal arts education with professional preparation.

5. Identify the strategic plan goals pursued by your department during this academic year:

No. Institutional Strategic Plan Goals (SPG) (2010-15) Check the SPG pursued Indicate your Departmental Initiatives that correspond to applicable institutional SPG
Every undergraduate academic program will demonstrate a distinctive blending of liberal arts education, professional competencies, and experiential learning, preparing students to be ethically responsible and civically engaged professionals in the global economy of the 21st century.    
Every undergraduate student will be advised to take advantage of one of multiple available learning communities. Learning communities that are available to students will include communities organized by living arrangement, by year in program, by other co-curricular associations – Honors Program, Advanced Academy, Band, Athletics, Debate, or program in the major.


The IRP Office was directly engaged in several key activities associated with RPG. These included: (1) preparation of multiple reports on the current status/capacity of UWG on these factors; (2) organization and facilitation of systematic, collaborative conversations among representatives of area school districts and of the University related to students' preparation for success in post-secondary education; and (3) substantial work on the design and implementation of methods for integrating measures of RPG into the annual report template.
The University will endeavor to increase enrollment in and graduation from graduate programs, including doctoral programs, that have as their mark a practical professional purpose, experiential learning opportunities, and an intellectual program informed by a foundation of liberal education.
The University will maintain an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.    
The University community will provide a balanced variety of cultural, recreational, leisure, and informal education programming opportunities for faculty, staff, and students that enhance the quality of campus life.



All units will strive to improve the compensation and working environment of faculty and staff in order to recruit and retain the best individuals.    
The University will endeavor to increase our overall enrollment to 14,500 by the year 2015.
With our enrollment growth, West Georgia will remain committed to the following targets of academic quality: faculty-student ratio of 18 to 1; average class size of 29; full-time to part-time faculty ratio of 4.4 to 1.


IRP was among the agencies that provided ongoing data on these measures to upper administration throughout the academic year.
West Georgia will develop several new facilities to improve quality along with meeting capacity demands due to enrollment growth


IRP was one of three specific campus divisions responsible for working with the BOR to conduct an extensive audit of space allocation and usage throughout the System.
Capital Campaign: The Development Office will prepare for a capital campaign to assist in meeting the long-term needs of the University of West Georgia.    
Communication and Marketing: The Office of University Communications and Marketing (UCM) will internally and externally promote the missions and goals of the strategic plan. This will be achieved by aligning the institution's integrated marketing plan (advertising, visual identity standards, web presence, media relations, etc.) with the strategic plan.    
Community Relations: The University will engage the local community educationally, culturally and recreationally.    

6. Describe some notable achievements toward selected goal(s) during this academic year.

Development of a detailed proposal for the expansion and realignment of the IRP Office provides a route by which the Office can, in the future, contribute even more directly to campus progress toward goals.

7. What resources could have helped you achieve or exceed your goals for the year? How would you have used them to facilitate/improve the work of your department?

A primary resource that is needed by IRP in order to fully achieve its objectives is a campus-wide system for integrated collection, management, and reporting of data across divisions. Further, the number and compensation of IRP staff is insufficient to provide either the level or breadth of service that is necessary to optimize the University's progress toward measurable and pre-defined goals.

8. List any changes to the structure or substructures of your department implemented during reporting year.

One of the Office's Senior Data Analysts left to take a position with a considerably higher salary. This meant the loss of the individual who was responsible for the design and management of the Office's website to ensure complete and real-time availability of data to internal and external audiences. The limited funds available to support this position were deemed by ITS and HR to be insufficient to recruit and retain a programmer/analyst and, thus, the position was down classified to that of webmaster.

In addition, the departure of the Director in mid-year, again, to accept a position with considerably higher salary, also impacted the progress of the Office.

9. List any additional comments about your department this reporting year.

Notably, the positive response of upper level administration and the incoming President to the proposal to realign and formalize the responsibilities of IRP should provide an impetus for stabilizing staff responsibilities and functions.