ERIC Number: ED225493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Computer Resources: Asset or Liability for Institutional Research. SAIR Conference Paper.
Sanford, Timothy R.
The most advantageous relationship between computer technology and institutional research is considered. Three potential problem areas are discussed: those associated with a central data processing center, those germane to minicomputers or terminals within the institutional research office, and those nondiscriminating types which cover both categories. Although computers generate large quantities of data, they also pose a potential threat to institutional research operations. First, the ability to produce considerable data is often followed by requests to produce even more data, and the researcher may become more a data supplier than an information supplier or data analyst. A second danger is conflicting or overlapping demands for data from the institutional research office. Finally, computers threaten institutional research by promising practitioners the esteem and gratitude of the campus community via administrative status as computer-output experts. It is suggested that the primary function in which institutional research should be involved is policy analysis. That is, the value of institutional research resides in its ability to provide meaningful analyses of institutional data on important issues, and computers only partially assist in this process. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: SAIR Conference
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Southern Association for Institutional Research (Birmingham, AL, October 28-29, 1982).