ERIC Number: ED205090
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
A Model for Institutional Policy Analysis: The Case of Student Financial Aid. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
Fenske, Robert H.; Parker, John D.
The development of an operational model that would enable a college institutional research unit to improve administrative decision-making by expanding its data base to include new activities not widely recognized throughout the institution is considered. Attention is directed to institutional research as a function within an institution, specifically medium and large universities, both public and private. The evolving role of the institutional research function is traced historically, and the Arizona State University is considered as a case study. It is suggested that the relationship between the outputs of the institutional research office and the policy formulation and decision-making activities of the university is important. Based on the Arizona State University case study, the following requirements for an operational model for the institutional research unit are proposed: the model must be user-focused, anticipatory and dynamic, iterative and approximate, prescriptive rather than descriptive, and comprehensive rather than solely empirical. In line with these characteristics, it is suggested that an appropriate model for contemporary institutional research might be a policy analysis model. This type of model might involve study of what a decision-maker wished to accomplish, finding alternative ways of achieving the objectives, comparing alternatives in terms of their impacts, and an iterative approach. Implications include the fact that the use of a problem criterion would be the basis in conceptualizing and designing work activity, and that emphasis would be directed to the development of new data sources and analytic capabilities. (SW)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Arizona State University
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1981).