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tag: Research universities

Blog Post
April 14, 2022

The Importance of Alignment for the Research Library

Academic libraries exist to serve the needs, over the long-run, of their parent institutions. To be successful, then, it is imperative that each research library regularly works to ensure its ongoing alignment with its parent university. Institutional alignment is, however, a complicated endeavor.  In a project Ithaka S+R co-published with ARL and CARL, my colleagues Danielle Cooper, Catharine Bond Hill and I examined the strategic directions of research universities in North America to determine how…
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.
Issue Brief
February 25, 2021

University Budget Models and Indirect Costs

A Primer

Budgets do not only pay the costs of activities. They also reveal the ambitions and limitations of an organization. The opportunities presented in a budget are also bounded by the structural elements used by that institution: how costs and revenues are organized, how overhead is calculated and apportioned, and how assets and investments are calculated and utilized, among others. In the higher education sector in the US, there are many common budgeting elements but also several important areas of differentiation.
Blog Post
December 1, 2020

Leadership for the Research Enterprise

For many of the largest universities, the research enterprise is an essential component of the mission. And during this year of pandemic related disruptions, it has proved to be one of the most resilient sources of university revenue. In recent years, major universities have established senior research officers to provide a unitary source of leadership for this vital work. Today, my colleague Oya Rieger and I are publishing a major examination of the role of the senior…
Research Report
December 1, 2020

The Senior Research Officer

Experience, Role, Organizational Structure, Strategic Directions, and Challenges

The research enterprise continues to grow more complex, competitive, interdisciplinary, and interinstitutional. Although academic research often is conducted in a distributed and grassroots manner, the senior research officer (SRO) plays an increasingly central and unifying role in stewarding research activities and shaping institutional policies and strategies. The SRO—who often holds the title of vice president, vice provost, or vice chancellor for research—typically holds responsibilities including overseeing external funding, institutional research safety and compliance, core research facilities, and research ethics and…
Blog Post
October 26, 2020

Looking at the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Research Enterprise

New Report

Scholarly research is an enormous priority for many higher education institutions, serving both as a core part of the academic mission and also in some cases a major source of revenue. This year’s COVID-19 pandemic massively disrupted scientific research projects and the lives and careers of scientists themselves, and it has already begun to have profound budget consequences for some of the most research intensive higher education institutions. Some of the other impacts of this period of disruption…
Research Report
June 27, 2018

The Talent Blind Spot

The Case for Increasing Community College Transfer to High Graduation Rate Institutions

In addition to expanding access and enhancing educational quality, there is a compelling economic case to be made for increasing transfer students. Specifically, supporting community college transfer pathways may offer four-year colleges a financially sustainable strategy to provide an affordable education to substantially more low- and moderate-income students.
Blog Post
July 6, 2017

Assessing the Information Practices, Needs, and Perceptions of Strategically Important Populations

Partnering to Develop the Ithaka S+R International Graduate/Professional Student Survey Module

While enrollment of international students has grown considerably in the last decade in the United States, investigations into their information practices and library needs are limited in number and are rarely conducted in a manner that enables comparative analysis of international and domestic graduate students. At the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), international graduate students represent a significant portion of the total number of graduate students as well as of the total number of international students…
Past Event
June 18, 2017

Christine Wolff at Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference

Christine Wolff and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will speak on “Understanding Strategically Important Populations: Assessing the Information Practices, Needs, and Perceptions of International Graduate Students,” at the upcoming Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference in Philadelphia. The conference runs from June 18-21, 2017, and more information is available on the EBLIP9 website. From the abstract: Objective International student enrollment in the United States has grown considerably in the last decade. International graduate students now represent a significant…
Blog Post
April 28, 2016

Increasing Retention Across the Spectrum

Florida State University Aims to Graduate Each Student It Enrolls

For the past twenty years, Florida State University (FSU) has focused relentlessly on retaining and supporting every student it enrolls. Its efforts have yielded one of the largest increases in six-year graduation rates in the nation—nearly 16 percentage points, from 63.2 percent in 1994 to 79.1 percent in 2014. In our latest case study, “Broad-Based and Targeted: Florida State University’s Efforts to Retain Every Student,” Daniel Rossman and I detail FSU’s two-pronged strategy for improvement. First, it has sought…
Case Study
April 28, 2016

Broad-Based and Targeted

Florida State University’s Efforts to Retain Every Student

Over the past twenty years, Florida State University (FSU) has recorded one of the largest increases in six-year graduation rates in the nation—increasing from 63.2 percent for the 1988 entering cohort to 79.1 percent for the 2008 entering cohort. This improvement in outcomes has occurred with only a modest increase in students’ entering credentials—for example, the average SAT score of entering students has slightly increased during the time period. Instead of selecting its way to better outcomes, FSU has focused…
Blog Post
January 26, 2016

Redesigning Organizations and Spaces

In the summer of 2014, Yale University integrated eight separate units into a unified Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) that advises teachers, tutors students, leverages technology for teaching and learning, and fosters global teaching and learning partnerships. First an idea, then a plan on paper, and finally a new unit by administrative action, the new CTL became more of a reality when five of the eight constituent units moved into a temporary shared space in the summer of…
Blog Post
November 18, 2015

Understanding the Role of the Office of Scholarly Communication

Scholarly communication has become a standard feature of academic and research libraries, and a number of research libraries have established an office of scholarly communication as one of its organizational units. Harvard Library established an Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) when the Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed the open access policy that would be followed by the other schools and institutes of Harvard. The OSC was meant to help the Harvard schools implement open access. The provost’s office at…
Research Report
November 18, 2015

Office of Scholarly Communication

Scope, Organizational Placement, and Planning in Ten Research Libraries

The phrase “scholarly communication” appears often in the description of library roles and responsibilities, but the function is still new enough that it takes different forms in different institutions. There is no common understanding of where it fits into the library’s organizational structure. This landscape review of offices of scholarly communication grows out of research originally conducted by Ithaka S+R for the Harvard Library. Dr. Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library, University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian…
Blog Post
August 26, 2015

Improving Instruction at Scale

In 2008, John Immerwahr described an “iron triangle” constraining colleges and universities, in which cost, quality, and access exist in an “unbreakable reciprocal relationship, such that any change in one will inevitably impact the others.” According to this logic, making a college or university more accessible or trying to increase the quality of instruction would necessarily drive up institutional costs. Conversely, reducing expenditures would inevitably make an institution less accessible and undermine the quality of the education that a…
Case Study
August 26, 2015

Breaking the Iron Triangle at The University of Central Florida

Scanning the social needs and economic realities faced by institutions of higher education in 2008, John Immerwahr described an “iron triangle” constraining colleges and universities. Immerwahr suggested that the three points of this triangle—cost, quality, and access—exist in an “unbreakable reciprocal relationship, such that any change in one will inevitably impact the others.” According to this logic, making a college or university more accessible or trying to increase the quality of instruction would necessarily drive up institutional costs. Conversely, reducing…
Blog Post
July 15, 2015

What Does the Future of Higher Education Look Like? It Depends Where You Sit

As part of a panel organized for the recent annual conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco, I was invited to talk about future trends in higher education. This was something of a fool’s errand, I realize, since we are bombarded every day by the media with higher education’s most pressing challenges and opportunities:   Low completion rates New pedagogies that meet more of today’s students’ needs—online learning, competency-based education, etc. Need for a higher education ecosystem…
Case Study
April 23, 2015

Building a Pathway to Student Success at Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU), a public university in Atlanta with nearly 33,000 undergraduates, has dramatically improved its rates of student success over the past decade. GSU’s six-year graduation rate has increased from 32 percent in 2003 to 54 percent in 2014.[1] During the same period, GSU has made a concerted effort to increase enrollment for traditionally underserved students. Remarkably, the share of its students who are Pell eligible nearly doubled, from 31 percent in 2003 to 58 percent…
Case Study
January 29, 2015

Making Assessment Work

Lessons from the University of Pittsburgh

The past two decades have seen increasing pressure for greater transparency about student learning from both within and outside higher education. Internally, there is a desire to understand and improve the efficacy of curriculum, pedagogy, and student support. Externally, there is a desire to hold institutions—particularly public institutions—accountable. As a result, in the early 2000s the major higher education accreditors began to review colleges’ processes for setting student learning outcomes, assessing those outcomes, and responding to the results.[1]…
Research Report
June 18, 2014

Sustaining the Digital Humanities

Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-up Phase

As more and more scholars experiment with building digital humanities (DH) resources, how are their host institutions approaching the challenge of supporting these diverse projects over time? In this study, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ithaka S+R explored the different models colleges and universities have adopted to support DH outputs on their campuses.  This final report, Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host-Institution Support beyond the Start-Up Phase, and the accompanying Sustainability Implementation Toolkit, are intended to guide faculty,…