Institutional Research and Assessment Coordination Policy


Academic and administrative units

Policy Statement

Syracuse University’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) provides leadership in developing and implementing the University’s institutional research and assessment plan to support institutional planning, policy analysis, and program improvement. OIRA conducts and centrally coordinates research and assessment efforts for the University’s academic and administrative units.

Institutional Research and Assessment Coordination

In order to maximize the University’s research and assessment efforts, all University research and assessment projects that collect student, alumni, faculty, and/or staff feedback will be coordinated through the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

The purpose of this policy is to optimize

  • the quality of research conducted;
  • the participation of our constituents in data collection efforts; and
  • the use of resources by combining, when appropriate, the research needs of individual units and the institution.

This policy does not replace the need for Institutional Review Board approval to conduct certain research and assessment projects.


OIRA will assist in the development and review of accreditation self-studies upon request. This includes providing institutional data and supporting on-going efforts to assess learning outcomes.


OIRA supports assessment undertaken by faculty and/or staff, within capacity, by providing the following services:

  • consultation to determine outcomes and assessment methods
  • instrument development
  • data collection, entry, and/or processing
  • data analysis and interpretation
  • reporting

Internal Research

OIRA conducts research on topics of importance to the University, such as retention and campus climate. Research topics are prioritized based on

  • the significance of the study for advancing institutional knowledge,
  • the potential usefulness of results for improvement, and
  • the availability of necessary resources.

National Research Studies

OIRA encourages the University’s involvement in national research studies in which faculty, staff, and/or students are asked to participate, such as the National Survey of Student Engagement. National research studies are most beneficial when

  • the focus is aligned with the University’s vision,
  • the data provide the University with information that will be used for quality improvement,
  • the data are not already available,
  • the other participating institutions constitute an appropriate comparison group,
  • stakeholders have been consulted,
  • the methodology is sound, and
  • adequate resources are available to conduct the research.

OIRA must verify that these conditions are substantially met before the University commits to participation in a national research study.

Institutional Reporting

To ensure consistency in reporting, OIRA is the University’s official source of institutional data. OIRA coordinates the collection and reporting of data for a variety of external and internal purposes (e.g., U. S. News & World Reports, New York State Education Department, and the Syracuse University Fact Book). OIRA is prepared to assist other offices in obtaining data necessary to complete additional reports for which they are responsible.

Sponsored Programs

Sponsored programs (e.g., HEOP, SSS) requesting OIRA’s assessment support are required to consult with OIRA prior to grant submission. OIRA will assist in the development of the assessment plan and budget based on the project scope and the approved fee schedule. A final copy of the grant proposal that includes the assessment budget should be provided to OIRA.

Sponsored Research

Many sponsored research proposals require assessment or evaluation plans. At the request of the principal investigator, OIRA may provide support in the development and the implementation of these plans. Consultation on the formation of an assessment plan based on measurable outcomes should occur early in the grant proposal process. If OIRA will partner on the implementation of the assessment plan, a budget will be created based on the approved OIRA fee schedule. A final copy of the grant proposal that includes the assessment budget should be provided to OIRA.

Principal investigators intending to collect data from students, faculty, and/or staff must coordinate such data collection with OIRA.

Policy Administration

Links to Procedures and Related Information

Amended: April 2007