Our Focus


 Customers | Critical Processes | Values | Vision  

OIE serves the university by integrating research, assessment, and planning. We operate under the guiding maxim "Generating discussion, fostering understanding, and promoting improvement one analysis at a time." You will find an abundance of information on our website. Our enrollment reports provide an overview of enrollment figures for each term. The Factbook provides data broken out by school, student level, and numerous other categories. Our Common Data Set includes additional information not found in the Factbook. You will also find several analyses on a variety of subjects. Do not hesitate to contact us so that we may assist you in your information and analyses needs.


The primary customers of Institutional Effectiveness may include:

  • Samford University Administrators
  • External customers such as the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the state and federal government, the NCAA, and survey designers such as US News and World Report.
  • Samford University Deans
  • Samford University Faculty
  • Samford University Staff
  • Samford University Trustees
  • Samford University Students

Critical Processes  Back to the top 

Critical processes include a.) research, evaluation, and policy analysis necessary to continually improve the university and support the decision making structure of the institution; b.) data gathering; c.) reporting; d.) responding to a large number of complex surveys; and e.) the design, administration, and analysis of ongoing assessment measures.

The functional responsibilities of the OIE Office fall into two main categories.

1.) Support of Campus Planning, Decision Making, and Policy Development

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is a key partner to the administrators, faculty, and staff of the Samford community as they seek to implement policies and evaluate programs to ensure the University fulfills its mission of nurturing students as they develop intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. The efficient and effective generation of such information is the goal of the OIE Department. Ensuring that information and data is presented in such a way as to minimize the time decision-makers spend interpreting data, thus maximizing their ability to concentrate their efforts on the decisions at hand, is vital to the OIE Office fulfilling this role.

a. Quality Assessment and Outcomes
With Samford University’s emphasis on quality assessment and outcomes, the OIE Office serves as a resource for generating outcome information, conducting needed assessments, and generating meaningful results that can quickly be used by decision-makers as they undertake their responsibilities.

b. Policy Analysis
As the Samford community attempts to assess the effectiveness of the policies they implement, the OIE Office provides the skills and resources needed to assist policy-makers through each stage of policy analysis. These stages include evaluating policy implementation to assisting with the development of measures to allow for future assessment of the intended and unintended consequences of the policies.

c. Program Evaluation
Program evaluation is a key tool for the Samford community to assess the design, implementation, improvement, and outcomes of programs. These programs can range from those designed to assist freshmen as they enter Samford to those designed to assist graduates as they enter the work world. The OIE Office is a valuable resource for program evaluation in their ability to provide data to assist decision-makers as they implement programs, as well as assisting in designing evaluations.

d. Factbook
The factbook serves as a repository of information ranging from enrollment information to retention and graduation rates. It is a tool that assists the campus community and beyond in better understanding the characteristics of Samford University and thus being better able to make fact based decisions.

e. Enrollment Management and Student Analysis
Enrollment management is vital for the effective functioning of Samford University. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is the chief source of the data, information, and analyses necessary for enrollment management.

f. Creation of Enrollment Extract Files
In addition to the enrollment and various extracts needed in the non-fall terms, each Fall, OIE creates the necessary entering cohort, enrollment, projection, and financial aid extracts necessary for the completion of external and internal requests

g. Survey Research
The OIE Office has served several entities on campus as they try and evaluate student opinion or outcome assessment. This is often times done through the generation of surveys. The OIE Office serves as a key resource in the development of survey instruments as well as the analysis of results.

h. Periodic Publications on a Variety of Topics
It is also important that the OIE Office serve as a proactive generator of information that can serve to better the institution. This can be undertaken through the periodic release of publications on a variety of topics, intended for use by administrators as they carry out the operation of the institution.

i. Participation on University-wide Teams or Committees
In an effort to maximize communication and collaboration within and among the various entities of the university community, the OIE staff participates in and presents to a variety of university committees and workgroups. It is imperative that OIE be included on every committee or team related to the university’s administrative software system due to OIE’s key role in reporting and providing analysis and assessment, both of which rely upon information generated from said systems.

2.) External Reporting Functions

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is the key source of data and information that is supplied to external sources. This function is crucial as the University strives to maintain its national reputation as well as meet Federal reporting requirements.

a. Accreditation
The OIE Office plays a role in not only the university’s SACS accreditation but also the accreditation and peer reviews of the various schools and disciplines composing the university.

b. National Survey Requests and Completion of the Common Data Set
Samford University has maintained an excellent national reputation for academic excellence. Key to this has been the university reporting to a variety of surveys, including U.S. News and World Report. The completion of these surveys and maintenance of the Common Data Set are crucial OIE functions in this capacity.

c. National Center for Education Statistics (IPEDS)
IPEDS reporting to the U.S. Department of Education is another key aspect to the reporting requirements of the OIE Office. IPEDS data further serves to provide the OIE Office national level data for comparison to peer institutions.

d. Federal Government Reporting
In addition to IPEDS reporting, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness provides information necessary for compliance and Federally mandated reporting requirements.

e. Alabama Baptist Convention
In order to assist with the efforts of the Baptist Convention, the OIE Office generates for them enrollment and financial aid figures.

f. Ad Hoc External Requests
In order to assist the Samford leadership, as well as the Department of Media and Public Relations, with their efforts in providing the media, Alabama citizens, and the general public with information about the institution, the OIE Office serves to assist these Samford entities in ensuring that the information and data they release is accurate.

Values Back to the top 

This mission is undertaken while preserving the value of data integrity. The OIE Office places a high value on data integrity because the office’s work is a reflection upon Samford as a Christian university. This office also places a high value on the community relationships that have been nurtured through interactions and teamwork with members at every level and in every function of Samford University. Ensuring these collegial relationships continue is inherent to the office fulfilling its mission.

Vision Back to the top 

Institutional Effectiveness engages itself in a process of continuous improvement. Each year, we strive to become more accurate and efficient in our data reporting efforts. The vision of Institutional Effectiveness is to ensure that our office contributes to major policy and planning decisions at Samford that shall better equip the university in meeting its motto of Nurturing Persons: for God, for learning, forever.