Is there a more committed group of higher education professionals than the members of the Association of Institutional Researchers (AIR)? Last week more than 1700 researchers, analysts, and planners gave up their Memorial Day weekend to descend upon Seattle and attend the annual AIR Forum. ASR Analytics was proud to be among them.
Like most of the attendees, my colleagues and I came back from the conference full of ideas and renewed excitement for the work that we do with and for our clients. Here are a few of the highlights from our perspective:
- During the Monday morning plenary, AIR executive director Randy Swing spoke about AIR members meeting new challenges in an increasingly transparent and more accountable environment. He called for members to look beyond the tools to provide institutional intelligence and renew focus on the methods to produce and disseminate information more widely across the institution – a point of view consistent with that of ASR's methods for delivering institutional intelligence solutions to colleges and universities.
- While there were certainly many sessions providing practical every day advice, there were many more sessions than in past years emphasizing the increasing importance of the IR office in strategic planning.
- The poster sessions were really well done. Unlike at most conferences, there were dozens of poster sessions that were quite well attended. Attendees were clearly appreciative to learn new and innovative research methods that were on display at these sessions. Don't skip these sessions next year if you're interested in learning something new and networking with leaders in the field.
I want to thank the hundreds of people that took the time to come by the ASR booth and speak with my colleagues and me. I hope you learned a bit from our conversation as we most certainly did from you.
For those of you that entered our contest to win an iPod Nano, let your suspense go no further: Judith A. Jaffe from Brandeis University is the proud new owner of a black iPod Nano. Judith, if you're reading, this sleek little number is on its way.