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University of Olivet assessments are dedicated to continuous improvement of programs and services that develop responsible graduates with the competencies, orientations, and ethics to better themselves and others. Institutional Research is guided by the precept that the core of all improvement is learning based on systematic inquiry and evidence.

This culture of learning is best achieved in an environment of reflective assessment established on the same trust and values practiced in the classroom. Key to that trust is honesty, supported by the values of objectivity and of inquiry aimed at understanding. In all of this, University of Olivet assessments are sensitive to the needs of individuals and of a dynamic, diverse society.

Goals and Commitments

Institutional Research and Assessment supports University of Olivet’s educational mission and strategic priorities by informing decision-making at all levels; We strive to create a learning culture of evidence founded on the best knowledge and scientific methods; And we promote the welfare of all through ethical and professional use of all information shared with us.

Responsible Use Governing All Users of This Site and its Data

All college data, including that in plans and reports and data mines, are governed by FERPA and the college’s confidentiality policies. Those who see such reports or data are subject to these understandings. This means that assessment information and data must be used with caution and common sense and is released publicly only as authorized by a vice president or as indicated. No individual data is reported, but should individual information be inferred or apparent or discovered from a report, users agree that they will protect confidentiality and identity of the individual.

Our Responsibility to Ethical Principles

All institutional research at University of Olivet is guided by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2003) and the Association for Institutional Research’s (2001) Code of Ethics for Institutional Research. The security and confidentiality of all data is assured by Institutional Research and Assessment, the President of the College, and all college personnel participating in data collection or reporting. All data is treated as sensitive and is handled congruent with FERPA by institutional personnel only as is needed to fulfill their job expectations. Student responses are never reported back to teachers, advisors, or other students. Surveys, for example, are always shredded after data is collated and secured.

Those not performing institutional research should obtain the permission of the President of the college or their supervising vice president. All individuals are bound by the ethical principles of their profession, of institutional research at University of Olivet, and the principles of responsible use of results governing all users of this site and institutional research data.


Major activities involve: a) data mining for causes of retention, excellence, graduation, and post-graduate success of students; b) overseeing external reporting and data requests ( e.g.,  IPEDS); and c) monitoring federal, state, and accrediting requirements, including required disclosures.

We prepare special and regular reports in conjunction with and for the President and the Cabinet. This includes the summaries of the college’s primary outcomes and national and regional benchmarks. Institutional research also reports findings to various college personnel, committees, and decision-makers .

Institutional Research and Assessment consults on all matters of efficient data collection and interpretation, including database, survey, and research design. Projects range from assistance with assessment design and automation, to measurement creation, standardization, and validation, and statistical analyses.

We prepare reports for committees, departments, and others who evaluate and design services and programs. Each year, outcomes are produced for unit/departmental yearly reports, showing mean performance, variability, and numbers or percentages of samples that achieving specified standards in their Assessment Plans.

References and Further Reading

Allen, Mary J. (2003). Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Association for Institutional Research. (2001). Code of Ethics of Institutional Research . Tallahassee, FL: Association for Institutional Research. 
Walvoord, Barbara E. (2004). Assessment Clear and Simple. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

National & Regional Organizations

College Data Finders(Federal)

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National and State Data

IR links

Title Description File type
Association for Institutional Research Code of Ethics (pdf)

Accreditation Documents