Institutional Research receives multiple SAIR awards

The Southern Association for Institutional Research (SAIR) awarded Radford University’s Institutional Research (IR) office multiple honors that recognize excellence in the field of institutional research on Oct. 10 at SAIR’s annual conference.

At the conference, colleges and universities in the SAIR region – which consists of 15 states – competed for awards in the categories of IR website, electronic fact book, fact book and mini fact book. Radford University’s IR staff consists of Director Eric Lovik, Associate Director Damien Allen and Data Specialist Stacy Austin.

Awards received

  • Best IR website, second place
  • Best electronic book, second place
  • Best mini fact book, third place

“We are deeply honored to be recognized for excellence among the very best colleges and universities within the southern region of the nation,” Lovik said. “For Radford University to be selected for three of the four awards this year speaks to the high quality and outstanding professionalism of the work generated by the IR team. Radford University continues to be recognized and respected in the IR field."

Radford University has had strong showings at previous SAIR conferences, including winning top prize for best fact book in 2012, top prize for best electronic fact book in 2014, second place for best fact book in 2013, second place in best fact book in 2016 and third place for best electronic fact book in 2013.

This year marked the first time that Radford competed in the mini fact book category and it was also the first time that Radford received an award in that category. The mini fact book differs from the traditional print fact book in that it is a condensed, abbreviated version with a limited selection of key data. The mini fact book can be a single fact sheet or brochure, while other institutions prepare a 10- to 20-page report.

"As technology has rapidly changed, the field of IR has clearly shifted its primary medium from print to digital, so we are putting less emphasis on the traditional print fact book that is 250 to 300 pages in length," Lovik said. "We understand that some constituents might want a tangible hard copy publication in their hands, so the mini fact book is an excellent alternative that can be produced more quickly and with less expense than the traditional print fact book. Ultimately, the purpose of providing all of the print and digital resources is to promote a culture of data-informed thinking."

The IR website provides archives of downloadable print and interactive electronic resources along with information about the staff and an online data request form. The electronic fact book serves as the primary source of institutional information with a variety of measures displayed in tables and charts showing multi-year trends.

Nov 10, 2017
Max Esterhuizen