The Office of Institutional Research and Analytics (OIRA) serves Samford University administrators, deans, faculty and staff, and trustees, as well 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.
The goal of OIRA is the efficient and effective generation of information needed by the administrators, faculty, and staff of the Samford community to implement policies and evaluate programs. OIRA presents information and data in a way that minimizes the time decision-makers spend interpreting data, and maximizing their ability to concentrate their efforts on the decisions at hand.
Quality Assessment and Outcomes
OIRA 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.
OIRA 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.
OIRA 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. Program evaluation is a key tool for the Samford community to assess the design, implementation, improvement, and outcomes of programs ranging from those for entering freshmen to graduates entering the workforce.
The factbook serves as a repository of information ranging from enrollment information to retention and graduation rates, serving as a basis for fact-based decisions and understanding of Samford characteristics.
Enrollment Management and Student Analysis
OIRA is the chief source of the data, information, and analyses necessary for enrollment management.
Creation of Enrollment Extract Files
In addition to the enrollment and various extracts needed in the non-fall terms, each fall, OIRA creates the necessary entering cohort, enrollment, projection, and financial aid extracts necessary for the completion of external and internal requests
OIRA serves as a key resource in the development of survey instruments for evaluating student opinion and outcome assessment as well as the analysis of results.
Periodic Publications on a Variety of Topics
OIRA periodically releases publications on a variety of topics for use by administrators as they carry out the operation of the institution.
Participation on University-wide Teams or Committees
The OIRA staff participates in and presents to a variety of university committees and workgroups. OIRA must be included on every committee or team related to the university’s administrative software system due to OIRA’s key role in reporting and providing analysis and assessment, both of which rely upon information generated from this system.
OIRA is responsible for, or assists with, the completion of a wide variety of external requests for information.
OIRA plays a role in the university’s SACS accreditation and the accreditation and peer reviews of the various schools and disciplines comprising the university.
National Survey Requests and Completion of the Common Data Set
The completion of national surveys, including U.S. News and World Report, and maintenance of the Common Data Set are crucial OIRA functions in maintaining Samford University’s national reputation for academic excellence.
National Center for Education Statistics (IPEDS)
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reporting to the U.S. Department of Education is another key aspect to the reporting requirements of OIRA. IPEDS data serves to provide OIRA national level data for comparison to peer institutions.
Federal Government Reporting
In addition to IPEDS reporting, OIRA provides information necessary for compliance and federally mandated reporting requirements.
Alabama Baptist Convention
OIRA generates for enrollment and financial aid figures for the Alabama Baptist Convention.
Ad Hoc External Requests
OIRA assists Samford leadership and the Division of Marketing and Communication in providing accurate information and data about the university to the media, Alabama citizens and the general public.