Institutional Research & Planning
The Department of Institutional Research and Planning at the University of West Georgia was established in 1967. IRP explores University culture by investigating campus community norms and values. Research findings aid the administration in determining if and to what extent values are in conflict and provide a basis for policy analysis and problem-solving approaches. In the early 1980's, West Georgia was the first University System of Georgia institution to conduct institutional retention studies. Retention studies indicate causes of attrition, and analyze retention-attrition behavior as a means for policy analysis, alternative admissions criteria, and enrollment planning.
Institutional Research and Planning assists the University to focus its programs on specific student needs, including studies which evaluate academic advising, counseling, career planning and placement, intercollegiate athletics, health services, and housing. Institutional Research and Planning contributes to planning the development of specific programs through market research techniques and needs assessment, and supports program review by supplying qualitative and quantitative evidence for assessment activities.
Mission and Goals
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 the timely analysis, distribution, and presentation of this 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 information consumers including regulatory entities, management, faculty, private organizations, and the general public. A 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 assessment, as well as evaluation and analysis.
Institutional Research and Planning further serves as records custodian for the University of West Georgia. In this capacity, the Department 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 advises other departments about appropriate records-keeping techniques and guides in developing records retention schedules.
The Department of Institutional Research and Planning adopted the following goals to encourage institutional effectiveness and to foster mechanisms to assess results:
- Serve the executive functions of the institution by providing a reliable and proactive management and decision-support system.
- Promote the improvement of West Georgia’s planning process in compliance with the Board of Regent's policies and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' criteria.
- Generate data, information, and analytical reports on institutional matters designed to inform decision-making and planning at the University.
- Assist the executive and administrative officers of the University in institutional assessment that will facilitate institutional effectiveness.
- Provide systematic collection and reporting of standard institutional, regional, environmental, and student-centered information for institutional planning and assessment.
- Reply in a punctual manner to spontaneous requests for descriptive information, data, and analytical reports.
- Provide guidelines and standards to various departments for establishing and maintaining successful records management practices that comply with the Georgia Records Act and the Open Records Act.