ERIC Number: ED220033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May-14
Reference Count: 0
A Distributed Information Strategy. AIR Forum 1982 Paper. Preliminary Paper.
Baker, Michael E.
Planning issues and computing technology changes are reviewed and decision support systems are examined as a means of providing an appropriate information system for the university institutional research office. Examples of formative attempts to provide such systems at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) and other institutions are considered. The possible implications of the increased use of such systems are explored, since much of the challenge to college planners and administrators results from the instability of the environment. Computing technology offers an opportunity for creating flexible planning support systems that are responsive to decision makers, and can take advantage of computing technology. The environmental forces having the greatest impact on colleges have been inflation, erratic economic growth, and student demographics. CMU's planning environment has emphasized strategic planning and planning support information. The CMU database was structured at the departmental level with aggregation to the college and university level. The data were structured along three dimensions: department, variable (e.g., undergraduate full-time-equivalent enrollment), and time (e.g., fiscal year). The basic model allots 10 columns for each department, 5 for historical data and 5 for forecasting. A compact model uses five columns of historical data only for reporting and data retrieval, and a fiscal year model includes one year of data for each department. The database, which uses the EMPIRE computer language, is useful for statistical analysis. One common analysis is creating ratios and reviewing patterns among departments. The role of institutional research staff, training of staff and career paths, and institutional resources are addressed. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Carnegie Mellon University PA; Decision Support Systems; Strategic Planning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (22nd, Denver, CO, May 16-19, 1982).