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Publications

Research Report
November 16, 2022

The BTA 2022 Art Museum Trustee Survey

The Characteristics, Roles, and Experiences of Black Trustees

The Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA) has partnered with Ithaka S+R to examine the experiences and demographics of art museum trustees from museums in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Through a shared interest in representation in the arts, BTA and Ithaka S+R fielded the Art Museum Trustee Survey to board members in the fall of 2021. The report investigates the characteristics, roles, and experiences of Black trustees in North American art museums.
Research Report
November 16, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2022

With support from the Mellon Foundation and in partnership with AAM and AAMD, Ithaka S+R conducted a third cycle of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey. As museums have struggled with revenue losses due to the pandemic, many in the field expressed concern that museums would grow less diverse. This study shows that the opposite is true. Findings shed light on the trajectory of demographic changes and the impact of the pandemic on staffing.
Issue Brief
November 16, 2022

Holistic Credit Mobility

Centering Learning in Credential Completion

In this issue brief, we introduce holistic credit mobility as a framework for making sense of contemporary student mobility and devising solutions that center the success of mobile students with multiple forms and sources of validated learning. In the sections that follow, we define holistic credit mobility and highlight strategies to support its effective deployment throughout postsecondary institutions and systems.
Playbook
November 9, 2022

Leading by Diversifying Collections

A Guide for Academic Library Leadership

Academic libraries build collections in the context of their parent institutions—primarily to support the institution’s research, teaching, and learning mission. They also build collections that document and preserve the cultural and scientific heritage of our society to represent a wide range of perspectives. In these efforts, universities and their libraries are developing approaches that address calls for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with a focus on creating space for and the perspectives of historically marginalized groups.
Research Report
October 27, 2022

Art Museum Director Survey 2022

Documenting Change in Museum Strategy and Operations

In April 2022, with funding from the Kress Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, and in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Ithaka S+R launched the second iteration of the Art Museum Director Survey. One hundred and eighty-one art museum directors completed the attitudinal survey, sharing perspectives about the institution they represent, as well as the museum sector as a whole.
Research Report
September 27, 2022

Fostering Data Literacy

Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences

“Fostering Data Literacy: Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences” explores why and how instructors teach with data, identifies the most important challenges they face, and describes how faculty and students utilize relevant campus and external resources. Full details and actionable recommendations for stakeholders are offered in the body of the report, which offers guidance to university libraries and other campus units, faculty, vendors, and others interested in improving institutional capacities to support data-intensive instruction in the social sciences.
Research Report
August 30, 2022

Borrowing During a Time of Crisis

Examining Institutional Debt During the Great Recession and COVID-19

Although a great deal of attention is paid to student debt, colleges and universities have increased their institutional debt substantially over the past several decades. While institutional borrowing is an important tool colleges can use to meet strategic goals, unchecked or irresponsible debts can undercut a college’s ability to adequately serve students. Ithaka S+R conducted a mixed methods study, with the generous support of the TIAA Institute, to better understand how institutional borrowing decisions are made during periods of crisis.
Research Report
August 22, 2022

A*CENSUS II All Archivists Survey Report

Five thousand, six hundred and ninety-nine archivists and memory workers across the United States took the time to share their experiences within the archives profession by completing the A*CENSUS II All Archivists Survey. The All Archivists Survey, fielded 17 years after the original A*CENSUS collected foundational data for the field, provides a measure of how far the field has come in nearly two decades as well as introduces new or expanded areas of exploration.
Issue Brief
August 18, 2022

Post-Baccalaureate Bridge Programs

An Underutilized Tool for Strengthening Faculty Diversity

Over the last 50 years, the US has experienced significant shifts in its racial and ethnic makeup, making it a much more racially diverse country than it was a half century ago. The racial and ethnic composition of the higher education system has shifted too. In spite of this progress, various forms of racial bias, socioeconomic inequality, and academic gatekeeping continue to limit access of students from underrepresented minority (URM) and low-income backgrounds to higher education’s resources and potential benefits.
Research Report
August 9, 2022

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science

Findings from an Incubation Workshop Series

Several recent studies have indicated that large numbers of researchers in many STEM fields now accept the value of openly sharing research data. Yet, the actual practice of sharing data—especially in forms that comply with FAIR principles—remains a challenge for many researchers to integrate into their workflows and prioritize among the demands on their time. In many disciplines and subfields, data sharing is still mostly an ideal, honored more in the breach than in practice.
Research Report
July 19, 2022

The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems

In August 2020, with funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), Ithaka S+R launched an 18-month research project to examine and assess the sustainability of these third-party digital preservation systems. In addition to a broad examination of the landscape, we more closely studied eight systems: APTrust, Archivematica, Arkivum, Islandora, LIBNOVA, MetaArchive, Samvera and Preservica.
Research Report
July 14, 2022

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2021

The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey has tracked the changing research, teaching, and publishing practices of faculty members within higher education triennially since early digital transformation at the turn of the century. This project has aimed to provide actionable findings to help colleges and universities, among other relevant stakeholders such as academic libraries, learned societies, and scholarly publishers, make evidence-based decisions for their planning and strategy.
Issue Brief
July 7, 2022

Lost and Found: State and Institutional Actions to Resolve Stranded Credits

This brief provides a roadmap for stakeholders interested in the underlying practices that create stranded credits and what can be done to improve them. To begin, we provide specific definitions of the terms and practices implicated in the creation of stranded credits. While researchers and policy leaders have increased their attention on the problem of stranded credits, this brief lays out in detail how they are created, why they matter, and what can be done to better balance the interests.
Research Report
June 9, 2022

Streaming Media Licensing and Purchasing Practices at Academic Libraries

Survey Results

Researchers have undertaken several important efforts to track how libraries are approaching the streaming media market and troubleshoot the challenges they are encountering, focusing especially on strategies for balancing patron demand with managing costs. Building on those data gathering efforts, this report shares findings from the most comprehensive survey to date of academic library streaming media approaches at four-year institutions in the US and Canada.
Research Report
May 25, 2022

Overseeing the Overseers

Can Federal Oversight of Accreditation Improve Student Outcomes?

Since the passage of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, the federal government has relied on the accreditation process to ensure quality at postsecondary institutions receiving federal dollars. Ithaka S+R began a pilot study in 2021 to assess the feasibility of using publicly available data on the accreditation process and outcomes to evaluate the impact of federal oversight mechanisms on institutional and student outcomes. In this report, we provide an overview of accreditation in the US.
Issue Brief
May 16, 2022

Can Evidence-Based Teaching Techniques Address the Education Debt that Students of Color Are Owed?

Evidence-based teaching strategies (EBTs) have become increasingly popular, as the practices have been linked to positive academic outcomes and should, theoretically, benefit all students regardless of their background. In this brief we identify the areas where research on EBTs lacks a critical, equity-minded orientation and offer suggestions on how future research can utilize an equity-first mindset. We present strategies that can be used by practitioners who hope to orient EBTs towards creating equitable learning environments for their students.
Issue Brief
April 28, 2022

Supporting Low-Income Students with SNAP

States and institutions of higher education have, until recently, been approaching the problem of student food insecurity in separate, sometimes contradictory ways. While some institutions have developed wrap-around assistance programs for low-income students that have improved retention and completion rates, the students with the most needs often attend institutions with the fewest resources to support them. Developing state policies that support low-income students will not only increase the number of successful graduates but also improve students’ work-readiness and earning potential.
Research Report
April 12, 2022

Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy

Ithaka S+R was commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) to examine the strategic directions of research universities with the objective of identifying common themes that research libraries can consider in aligning to advance the research and learning mission both individually and collectively. This project draws on interviews and other forms of engagement conducted in 2021 with more than 60 university leaders across research libraries in the US and Canada.
Research Report
March 31, 2022

The Impacts of Emergency Micro-Grants on Student Success

Evaluation Study of Georgia State University’s Panther Retention Grant Program

The Panther Retention Grant (PRG) program at Georgia State University (Georgia State) is one of the nation’s pioneering examples of a retention or completion grant program, a type of emergency financial aid program aimed at supporting students with immediate financial need. The program, which specifically targets students who are in good academic standing and have exhausted all other sources of aid, automatically awards up to $2,500 to clear students’ unpaid balances and allow them to remain enrolled for the term.
Research Report
March 30, 2022

Underrepresentation of Black and Latino Undergraduates at America’s Most Selective Private Colleges and Universities

Attending a more selective college or university matters because these institutions graduate a larger share of their students. Attaining a bachelors’ degree increases expected lifetime earnings by roughly 65 percent over attaining only a high school diploma. Who has access to these selective institutions therefore has an impact on economic and social mobility in America, an objective that justifies the federal, state and local support of higher education. However, evidence suggests that selective schools could be doing more.