About

Students in classroom

The main purpose of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is to serve The University of Alabama in Huntsville's academic mission and administrative functions by providing an effective framework of information and analysis to support planning, evaluation, and performance improvement. The OIRA supports the University's overall performance data and assessment activities of all academic and administrative departments. Additionally, the office supports and offers consultation services to assist all campus units with self-study reports, planning, and assessment.

The office seeks to provide information about the University from internal campus units as well as from state and federal agencies, accrediting bodies, college guides, and the general public. With the assistance of the Office of Information Technology, the OIRA maintains databases to support longitudinal studies and statistical analysis. Finally, in order to maintain data integrity and usability across the University, the OIRA collaborates with academic and administrative offices across campus to ensure the University's information systems are reliable.

Goals
  • Communicate, monitor, and track institutional data needs for all academic and non-academic units and provide accurate data to enhance the mission, vision, and goals of the University.
  • Continuous monitoring and tracking of external surveys.
  • Track/monitor scorecard metrics for all units.
  • Assess data elements that impact the University's strategic plan and provide guidance to administration as needed based on those analyses.
  • Develop and support ongoing assessment needs of the institution for program and support unit outcomes to impact institutional effectiveness through continuous improvement.

The OIRA's goals support The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Strategic Plan: Expanding Horizons 2013-2020 by connecting to priorities two and five.

Operating Guidelines

The OIRA staff reports data and information to internal and external sources. Many of the reports about the University regarding students, faculty, staff, courses, degree programs, and a wide array of important university data are required by law. The OIRA collects and monitors assessment instruments and reports for academic and non-academic units in order to promote the appropriate use of assessment data for institutional effectiveness. The office publishes information about the University through annual assessment reports and provides data for reports that are published or used by other campus units. Due to the extent, volume, and variety of these activities, the OIRA has adopted the following general operating guidelines:

  • We will provide products and services that fall within our mission in order to serve The University of Alabama in Huntsville to the fullest capacity (academic and non-academic) by providing an effective analytical framework for planning and performance effectiveness.
  • The office's priority of services will be executed in the order in which the request is received, level of difficulty, and level of authority.
  • To the extent possible within defined priority sequences, we will attempt to meet all requests for information and assistance that are consistent with our mission within the time frame requested by the individual.
  • OIRA makes available through its website commonly requested data that can be used broadly for planning, evaluation, and decision making.
  • Special requests will be adapted to suit the information and assessment needs of those requesting our assistance.
  • The OIRA logs all reporting and services that we provide. Additionally, beginning in spring 2016, the office will measure its own effectiveness annually to solicit feedback on how we can better serve the University and meet its institutional research and assessment needs.
Citation Guidelines

Examples of recommended correct citations for publication or presentation of OIRA data are provided below:

For Website Documents:

Office of Institutional Research & Assessment, The University of Alabama in Huntsville. (2014-2015). Common Data Set. Retrieved August 24, 2015, from The University of Alabama in Huntsville: http://www.uah.edu/academic-affairs/offices/oir/common-data-sets

For a Requested Report:

Office of Institutional Research & Assessment, The University of Alabama in Huntsville. (2015). 1991-2013 Freshmen Cohorts Graduation and Retention Rates. Huntsville, Alabama.