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About IR

Welcome to the Institutional Research (IR) area of the Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis at the University of Colorado Boulder, led by Robert Stubbs.

We are the institutional research unit of the Boulder campus. Our mission is to provide information for policy and management decisions for campus academic units, administrative units, and students. We also serve as an official point-of-contact for campus statistics.

To accomplish our mission we collect, organize, analyze, distribute, and assist in the use of information about CU-Boulder students, applicants, alumni, staff, faculty, space, finances, and other assets. We use surveys, observation, experiments, policy analysis, and extensive records analysis. We distribute standard and custom information in both paper and electronic formats. In all our activities we aim for consistency, efficiency, effective delivery, and relevance.

The IR advisory board meets 5 times per year.  Members are from many campus offices plus CU-System and UC-Denver. Click here for agendas with notes, links, and to do's, and handouts, both from selected meetings.  The board began meeting in 1996.

Annual reports - 5/2013  |  5/2012

Staff with major areas of responsibility     Org chart 4/2014    

Major activities

Planning, accountability, and assessment

  • performance indicators for internal and external audiences
  • student ratings of instruction; Faculty Course Questionnaire (FCQ) administration for three campuses
  • student outcomes assessment; staff to campus Assessment Oversight Committee
  • support of diversity planning, evaluations, and reporting
  • administration of the Boulder Faculty Assembly's Administrator Appraisal Program (AAP)
  • support of departmental and campus evaluative reviews (e.g., for academic program review and planning, reaccreditation)
  • support of the campus strategic planning process
  • peer analyses, primarily using data from other AAU schools.  Includes active participation in AAUDE, the Association of American Universities Data Exchange. McClelland served as AAUDE national chair, 2007-08.

Campus enrollment management

  • admissions and financial aid support and research -- experiments, records analysis, auto-admit criteria
  • enrollment management and predictions
  • graduation and retention rates; longitudinal student tracking

Campus academic and student records key users

  • understand, synthesize, and document relationships among student information system data from admissions, registration, course offerings, student financial records, and financial aid. Link those data to employee data, space data, financial data.
  • chair a group from five offices monitoring, revising, and documenting campus academic structure
  • assist academic departments, colleges, and others in ensuring that academic programs are presented consistently to prospective students, applicants, current students, on transcripts, on Regental and State of Colorado official listings, and on diplomas
  • play an integrative, cross-module role in the CU system's transition to a new student information system in 2010, with special roles in securing reporting resources and in conversion of data from the current SIS, in place since 1988.

Survey research

  • regular senior, NSSE, student climate, graduate, and alumni surveys
  • consultation and ad hoc work for clients such as student government, BFA, schools and colleges, and the office of financial aid
  • student ratings of instruction; Faculty Course Questionnaire (FCQ) administration for three campuses, via paper and on-line administration, with optional questions specified by individual faculty, departments, and colleges. Data collection and reporting system revised in 2006-07
  • administration of the Boulder Faculty Assembly's Administrator Appraisal Program (AAP)
  • national coordinator for exchange of NSSE results among AAU institutions 

Data desk

  • creation and maintenance of standard files for federal, state, and internal reporting, including
    • SURDS (Student Unit Record Data System) files for the Colorado Department of Higher Education (DHE, subsuming CCHE, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education) and IPEDS (federal) reporting, on enrollment, financial aid, degrees, and undergraduate applicants
    • CCIF, combined course information file with course, enrollment, and instructor data
    • Selected census date and end of term files, source of official FTE reporting to the state
    • the Common Data Set (CDS) collected by college-guide publishers
    • Longitudinal files used for graduation rate reporting and enrollment management
    • Faculty and staff employee files
  • data exchange with other AAU and Big 12 institutions
  • data for external surveys (from college guidebooks, IPEDS, others, the press, internal inquiries)

Research and data support to entities throughout campus, including the chancellor, diversity and equity, academic programs, student affairs units, administrative units, and student government

Representation of the campus to DHE/CCHE (Colorado Dept of Higher Ed, Colorado Commission on Higher Education), institutional researchers at all CU campuses, University of Colorado system-wide efforts including reports to the Regents, and the AAU Data Exchange (AAUDE). 

Policy analysis in areas such as new ethnic-racial codes, tuition structure revisions, financial aid, instructor salaries, and admission standards

Major goals in our work

  • Consistency - Provide information that is both consistent and accurate. Give the same answer when the same question is posed again.
  • Efficiency - All staff have and use knowledge of data sources, of the University and its people, of analysis methods and software. We share our resources.
  • Delivery - We make information available in multiple formats within the campus and beyond, to those who have posed questions and to others as well. Our website serves as our primary delivery mechanism.
  • Relevance - We spend the bulk of our time and effort working on topics and questions that are important to campus direction and management

Reach us at

Last revision 04/01/14

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