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2022 Pre/Post Conference Workshops

Workshops are now available in the registration site! If you have already registered, you can modify your registration and add workshops.

Workshop Schedules
Saturday, October 1
Morning 8:30 am to 11:30 am
Afternoon 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Full-day 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
IPEDS Training 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Sunday, October 2
8:30 am to 11:30 am
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Newcomers 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Full-day 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesday, October 4
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
IPEDS Training 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Workshop Cost
$75 per half-day workshop; $150 per full-day workshop
$75 Newcomer's Workshop (includes lunch)

The registration desk will open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday so you will be able to pick up the conference materials prior to the beginning of the first workshop.

For more information on SAIR Pre-Conference Workshops, please contact Will Miller, Member-at-Large for Professional Development.

Undergraduate Longitudinal Data: Introduction to MIDFIELD
Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Marissa Orr, Clemson University
Matthew Ohland, Purdue University
Joseph Roy, American Society for Engineering Education
Russel Long, Purdue University

We will introduce participants to MIDFIELD, a longitudinal database of whole population undergraduate student unit-record data from US universities that is available for research. A multidisciplinary team of facilitators will highlight examples of research done using MIDFIELD. Much research has focused on engineering, but MIDFIELD has data from all students at the university so can be used broadly. MIDFIELD allows for more comprehensive intersectional approaches than most other databases. Such approaches present challenges for meaningful data displays. Thus, we will also help participants expand their repertoire of visual displays. This workshop introduces midfieldr (a package in the R software environment).
Leveraging Microsoft Tools to Run an IR Office
Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

James Hunt, Florida State University

This workshop will focus on helping IR Offices determine the most effective and efficient ways to utilize the full array of Microsoft tools to enhance functions.
IPEDS Data and Benchmarking: Supporting Decision Making and Institutional Effectiveness
Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

This workshop introduces the fundamentals of benchmarking as a way to demonstrate institutional effectiveness. It is designed for individuals with little to no experience in benchmarking studies. Participants use data from the IPEDS Surveys, Data Feedback Reports, and the “Use the Data” center at the NCES website to learn about the types of comparison groups that can be constructed. Exercises demonstrate establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and identification of variables to refine comparison groups.  Learning Outcomes 
  • Articulate the role benchmarking can play in higher education decision making 
  • Identify key IPEDS variables for benchmarking 
  • Use your institution’s Data Feedback Report as a basic benchmarking tool 
  • Create custom reports using Create a Custom Feedback Report function 
  • Select appropriate types of comparison groups for benchmarking projects 
  • Use Compare Institutions to rank and compare institutions 
Note that this session is offered at no cost. A link will be provided in the coming weeks to complete your registration.
The Game of Musical Chairs (Managing IR/IE)
Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Suzanne Simpson, University of Alabama at Huntsville
Jennifer Moore, Mississippi University for Women

Institutional research and assessment has many challenges, especially when those functions are in one single office. For those campuses that have a combined IR/IE office, your experience is a lot different from offices that are singular units that only focus on IR or IE. If you are new or old to the field of IR/IE, over the last ten years you may have changed the way you hire, report, and/or utilize software. Your office may even be responsible for accreditation efforts. All of these things affect the way you do business daily. How we handle the plethora of changes in one office and respond to these challenges creates a unique dynamic that can impact the entire campus. This workshop will focus on practices utilized at both a small regional and a R1 research institution, as well as how we have adapted to these changes over the last ten years. We will discuss hiring practices, how to handle IPEDS and/or report changes, the impact of accreditation, and the ongoing daily struggles of how to manage multiple projects at one time and still keep your sanity. The workshop will include collaborative learning exercises and an opportunity to have open discussions with colleagues across varying types of institutions as we learn from each other.
Basic Statistics with Excel
Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Emily Campbell, River Parishes Community College

This workshop will cover basic statistical principles and procedures for Institutional Researchers who do not have a statistics or other research-related educational background. Software will be limited to Excel. Topics to be covered include descriptive statistics, effectively and accurately displaying and summarizing data, hypothesis testing with Chi-Square and other measures of association, simple linear regression, multiple regression analysis, and logistic regression. At the end of the workshop, participants will be better consumers and producers of data analysis.
Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment Bootcamp
Saturday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Will Miller, Jacksonville University
Kelli Rainey, NACUBO

The Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment Bootcamp is designed for anyone interested in discovering more about the collection and use of data and information across their campuses—with a focus on assessment and institutional effectiveness. The bootcamp provides an opportunity to learn best practices and share campus successes and struggles with individuals in similar situations at similar institutions. Senior administrators, institutional research, support staff, and faculty with an interest in best practices for data collection and use are all invited to participate.
Session A: Institutional Effectiveness and Data on Campus
Data exists everywhere on campus. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members all possess data that could benefit our institutions—however, without bringing together data through meaningful connections, we lose the true power of institutional effectiveness. Whether we want to help our institution progress, our programs maximize their impacts, or individual students succeed, we need to be intentional in our institutional effectiveness efforts. In this session, we will discuss the meaning and power of institutional effectiveness and how to ensure it is a continual process engrained in the culture of our institutions. And, perhaps equally importantly, how far are we from ensuring the buy-in of campus stakeholders to institutional effectiveness efforts?
Session B: An Impactful Assessment Flow (1:00 – 4:00 pm)
Without faculty providing data, institutional effectiveness and student learning assessment are likely impossible to measure. Yet, some campus stakeholders are reluctant to meaningfully engage with assessment efforts for a variety of reasons—whether because they believe it isn’t possible to objectively measure student learning or because they believe that assessment is only done for regional accreditation. However, finding ways to actively engage faculty with outcomes assessment improves opportunities for students to succeed. Even for faculty who believe in assessment, we all could likely do a better job of helping them take ownership of the process and of their data. In this session, we will address strategies for engaging faculty in the process—from designing for ease of use and challenging assumptions, to using data to improve personal pedagogy and student success outcomes. Most importantly, we will present an assessment flow that accounts for campus climate and ensures faculty benefit from the data they provide as much as the institution does.
Leveraging Power BI to Visualize Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Processes
Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Caitlyn Jessee and Galiya Tabulda, Florida State

Tracking the timeliness, quality and completeness of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) assessment reports can be a challenging task. However, making all this information available in an easy-to-use, robust, straightforward dashboard is a great way to communicate the status of the IE assessment activities to university stakeholders. During the workshop, we will walk participants, step-by-step, through building these interactive dashboard-style visualizations in Power BI. We will focus on creating visuals that show assessment completion status for various campus units, setting and tracking reporting expectations by different locations/modalities, and incorporating organizational tree elements into the dashboards. Join us to learn more!
Introduction to Tableau for Retention, Persistence, & Graduation
Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

G. Marc Turner, Texas State

Interactive dashboards are quickly becoming the norm for providing decision makers a broad overview while allowing more detailed investigation by drilling down in the data. Starting with two basic Excel files, this workshop will walk you through the steps of creating a comprehensive retention, persistence, and graduation dashboard. Topics will include the use of Tableau Prep to clean and organize data followed by the use of Tableau Desktop to create tables, graphs, and dashboards. Participants will be provided a link to download sample data files, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Desktop to your laptop prior to the workshop.
Manage Up: Understanding (and Working with) your Institutional Leaders’ “Workstyle”
Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Ginny Cockerill, University of Alabama at Huntsville

How to get along with other people--not just a kindergarten skill! Most leadership materials focus on how to lead from the top, down. But what if you aren't the boss? How can you “lead” when you have responsibility but not authority? Understanding how to work with the 4 basic “workstyles” and the 15 type of “difficult” bosses (from the book “Managing Up” by Mary AbbaJay) can be a way forward. While this framework can be helpful within an IE/IR/IA office, it may be most applicable for working with campus leaders in other areas without a direct reporting relationship.
Newcomers Workshop
Sunday 8:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Molly Hall, Virginia Tech
Suzanne Simpson, University of Alabama at Huntsville

The workshop will provide an introduction to institutional research, its principal components, and the practices of institutional researchers including the sourcing of data, communication and reporting of data, and the role of institutional research in supporting the assessment and accreditation. The workshop will also address how institutional research offices function and how to be an effective practitioner of institutional research.
Building a Modern Data Governance Structure
Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Rick Burnette, Florida State University

Defining and deploying effective data governance is one of the products of our evolving data-defined world. Many schools have policies, but what are the effective organizational structures and policies that are needed to open up access while reducing risk of improper use? This interactive session will help you review your existing structures or allow you to begin planning your first.
Power BI for Systemic Reporting & Analytics for Educational Institution: Connecting Financial Management to Student Enrollment
Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Ali Tanveer Khan, Dallas College

System analytics and reporting are tools for making data-informed decisions that can contribute positively to institutional effectiveness with educational financial management. The main purpose of workshop is to share practical experience and insight knowledge of system analytics and reporting for higher education institutions. Professionals will have opportunity to develop their skills in designing data visualization using PowerBI for decision-making purposes. The workshop will provide a snapshot of data usage to connect financial management to program outcomes for student enrollment affecting funding allocation. The outcome of workshop is to ensure participants have basic skills needed to use Power BI as tool to guide institutional decision-making.
Tableau Tips & Tricks
Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

G. Marc Turner, Texas State

Designed for those with more experience using Tableau, this workshop is designed as an opportunity to teach some features of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep which are less well known or used. The tips and tricks covered are time saving techniques learned over several years of working with Tableau that range from basic to advanced. Prior to the workshop, attendees will be provided with an opportunity to submit "how to" questions about Tableau so answers can be incorporated into the workshop. Additional time for questions and answers will be provided as well.
Analytics Academy
Sunday 8:30 am - 4:00 am

Kelli Rainey, NACUBO
Will Miller, Jacksonville University

The Analytics Academy brings participants together to increase data fluency. The series of 5 sessions offered over a one-day period are highly interactive and involve a combination of discussion, simulation, and experiential exercises. Participants will be able to use the resources and information gained to immediately apply their learning to their campus environment
Session A: The Data Environment on Campus
Successfully using data for informed decision making requires a deep understanding of the data environment on campus. In this session, we discuss how to map data to foundational processes and documents on campus, such as strategic planning, program review, curriculum design, retention initiatives, performance management, and resource allocation. We’ll explore how those connections can nurture a true sense of campus community, assist with prioritization on campus, and prepare for using leading and lagging indicators to measure future success.
Session B: Creating a Healthy Analytics Culture
Constructing a healthy analytics culture takes time and intentional efforts. Common barriers to overcome include limitations in campus data fluency, prior misuse of data as a tool for punishment, and lack of trust in the data. In this session, we explore steps you can take to create a culture of analytics, including encouraging collaboration through a campus-wide data governance team and developing data fluency to increase buy-in.
Structures and Strategies for a Successful Accreditation Process
Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Mitzi Norris, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Carley Dear, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Rilla Jones, Itawamba Community College

The workshop will prepare individuals new to the accreditation process or those who are preparing for institutional or programmatic reaccreditation. The session will describe the accreditation process and guide participants to establish organizational structures and methods to successfully navigate the accreditation process.
Keeping the Research in Institutional Research
Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Andrew Luna, Austin Peay State University

Presenting research is a key component to IR. This 3-hour workshop will go over the processes involved in creating and developing a research idea, quantitative and qualitative methodologies involved in the research design, how to present your research to a wide audience, and how to submit your research for publication. While this workshop is designed for new and intermediate IR professionals, anyone who wants a refresher in planning a research project may come.
Tips and Tricks Using IPEDS and Federal Data
Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Carolyn Sloane Mata, Mata Higher Education Consulting

This hands-on workshop is designed to save IR professionals time as they navigate, pull data and create reports from IPEDS. Taught by an IPEDS Educator, state coordinator and keyholder, this session will include a deep dive into the Use the Data Center, participants will learn how to choose the best tool for the job. Participants will also learn how to use some tips and tricks to make their work more efficient, saving them time and energy. Discussion around building comparison groups, finding peer institutions, and how to locate, pull-down, and merge Scorecard data will also take place. Last, participants will engage in a hands-on activity to create sustainable reports in excel that can be repopulated as needed.
Preparing Accreditation Reports: Narrative, Documentation, and All that Jazz
Tuesday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Mitzi Norris, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Carley Dear, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Rilla Jones, Itawamba Community College

Providing clear, relevant, and well-documented narrative is fundamental to preparing accreditation compliance documents. The workshop will take a novice or experienced writing team member through a systematic process to dissect standards, address each element, and provide appropriate documentation for compliance. The presentation will apply to different academic accrediting organizations.
Campus-Based Custom Data Apps Using Power BI
Tuesday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Will Miller, Jacksonville University
Rob Berwick, Jacksonville University

In this workshop, we will walk through the plethora of dashboards JU utilizes in Power BI (we can discuss how they are built, but this is largely system-agnostic), the culture of inquiry built around the dashboards, and our campus-based app that houses all dashboards for relevant stakeholders. We will help attendees start to build their own apps and think through how to roll out a tool like this.
IPEDS Finance Training for IR Professionals
Tuesday 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This workshop is designed for IR professionals who have no training in finance or accounting, and focuses on a general understanding of higher education finance with an overview of where, how, and why IPEDS Finance data are used. Topics include an introduction to higher education finance; Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) vs. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); key accounting concepts; a review of general purpose financial statements and how they relate to the IPEDS Finance survey; and reporting comparison challenges. Exercises provide participants with experience completing the IPEDS Finance survey and benchmarking with commonly used finance variables.  Learning Outcomes 
  • Demonstrate a general understanding o Higher Education Finance 
  • Understand the differences between GASB and FASB 
  • Overview of key accounting concepts 
  • Overview of General Purpose Financial Statements 
  • Introduction to the IPEDS Finance Survey 
  • Identify most common errors in the IPEDS Finance survey 
  • Identify where the IPEDS Finance data show up and how the data are used 
  • Reporting comparison challenges with the IPEDS Finance Data 

Note that this session is offered at no cost. A link will be provided in the coming weeks to complete your registration.
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The Southern Association for Institutional Research (SAIR) is dedicated to the advancement of research leading to improved understanding, planning, and operation of institutions of post-secondary education. SAIR provides a forum for the dissemination of information and interchange of ideas on problems of common interest in the field of institutional research. In addition, SAIR promotes the continued professional development of individuals engaging in institutional research and fosters the unity and cooperation among persons having interests and activities related to research.