ERIC Number: ED439640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
The Mission of Institutional Research.
Thorpe, Stephen W.
Mission statements can provide a useful vehicle to communicate the purposes, goals, and objectives for functional units within organizations. This paper studied the extent to which institutional research offices utilize mission statements to communicate office functions. These functions were identified through content analysis, using nine specific characteristics: internal reporting; planning support; external reporting; conducting research studies; data management; decision-making support; assessment support; data analysis; and policy information support. An e-mail survey of 167 managers and senior administrators at institutions in the Northeast was conducted; the response rate was 86 percent. Of these, 44 percent provided published mission statements, with other administrators indicating they would be developing such statements in the near future. The study suggests that mission statements of two-year colleges differ from those of four-year colleges, and that there are also differences in the statements of public versus private institutions. It is postulated that demands for public accountability might explain the greater presence of assessment-related functions in statements of public institutions. Among other differences, four-year institutions more frequently mention external reporting than do two-year colleges. The study cautions that actual activities of institutional research offices might not be congruent with their mission statements. (RH)
Descriptors: College Administration, College Planning, Communications, Decision Making, Educational Planning, Higher Education, Information Management, Institutional Mission, Mission Statements, Organizational Communication, Organizational Objectives, Organizations (Groups), Planning, Policy Formation, Research Administration
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the North East Association for Institutional Research (26th, Newport, RI, November 13-16,1999).