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ERIC Number: EJ950798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
Research and Data Services for Higher Education Information Technology: Past, Present, and Future
Grajek, Susan
EDUCAUSE Review, v46 n6 p46-48, 50, 52-54, 56, 58, 60 Nov-Dec 2011
Those in the higher education community live in interesting times. For decades, higher education has occupied a relatively stable, trusted position in society, as a place to invest the most precious resources: (1) youth; (2) minds; (3) future; and (4) values. Today, the purpose and value of higher education is under question and under transformation. What was once seen as requisite for completing the intellectual journey to maturity is now increasingly viewed as a necessity for employment and financial security. The value proposition is now more about economic security than self-actualization. But with rising costs and student debt, and shifts in enrollment patterns, the public is questioning the affordability of a college education at the same moment a college degree has begun to be viewed as a necessity for job security. With imperiled endowments, cuts in federal and state support, burgeoning costs of regulatory compliance, and the resulting institutional budget shortfalls, higher education leaders are hard-pressed to respond to calls for lowering the costs of higher education. The business model of higher education is broken. Within higher education, information technology is experiencing its own challenges. Enter data. Enter research. Enter analytics. Analytics, and the data and research that fuel it, offers the potential to identify broken models and promising practices, to explain them, and to propagate those practices. Information technology now supports and enables all aspects of higher education. Information technology is paradoxically--and rightly--viewed both as an added expense and as a source of potentially transformational efficiencies. The great challenge for IT leaders and managers is to successfully resolve this paradox for their institutions. To do so, they will require the external models and internal evidence that data and research can provide. Higher education IT data now needs to go beyond descriptive analysis--reports, queries, and drill-downs--to new ways of using data and research in order to align IT strategy with institutional strategy, plan new services and initiatives, manage existing services, and operate the IT organization on a daily basis. Higher education itself needs expanded access to high-quality data and analysis about information technology and its relationship to institutional efficiency, learning effectiveness, and college completion. (Contains 9 notes.)
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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