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ERIC Number: EJ817865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0579
The Role of Consultants in Institutional Research
Milam, John
New Directions for Institutional Research, n139 p27-45 Fall 2008
Institutional research (IR) is a multifaceted function, occurring at many levels and in many types of settings, addressing numerous audiences, and embracing an almost infinite array of topics. The IR community is well served by understanding the role that consultants play in the panoply of postsecondary education. With the growing complexity and diverse offerings of colleges and universities, as well as increased reliance on outsourcing and a climate of scarce resources, consultants can serve an important need at a critical time. Consultants should not be seen as competition for IR offices, but as a natural extension of the IR function when there is an overload of work, an immediate need that cannot be met, new technology that cannot be leveraged, or an analysis or report that cannot be developed within the required time frame. The analysis or report needed in a situation may require a perspective that can be gained only by working with many similar organizations on the same problem. Given these competing tensions and priorities, it is important for IR professionals to know when and how to use consultants effectively for their organizations. This chapter examines ways in which consultants are used for IR and assessment, and highlights issues to consider when selecting and evaluating a consultant. The chapter also makes recommendations about how to effectively use consultants in different settings for different types of tasks. The process of finding, hiring, and evaluating consultants for IR-related tasks is discussed, along with other considerations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A