Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is Your International Education Data Ready for a Change in Institutional/Organizational Leadership?

During a meeting at work this morning I was reminded of how a change in institutional/organizational (and perhaps divisional) leadership can change the way you are requested to collect and report data about your international education programming efforts. For example, a few years ago the institution I work for, The University of Chicago, saw a change in University President from a Musicologist to a Mathematician and then a change in University Provost from an Historian to a Physicist. This change in leadership from backgrounds in the Humanities and non-quantitative Social Sciences to backgrounds in the very quantitative Physical Sciences no doubt brought about changes in how the University was to collect, analyze and report data. To be sure, the Musicologist and the Historian valued, wanted and needed the quantitative data to make informed decisions just as the Mathematician and the Physicist no doubt value, want and need qualitative data to make informed decisions. These disciplines, however, vary greatly in their methodological and data analysis approaches and it is these differences we should be aware of when collecting, analyzing and reporting our international education data.

My question is this: Are you and your data collection efforts ready for an institutional/organizational shift in leadership? Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I’m more of a mixed-methods type of person myself and I value both the measurement aspects of research/outcomes assessment as well as the descriptive aspects of research/outcomes assessment.