What We Do

An Institutional Researcher is typically the chief information officer of a college or university. They provide information to campus decision makers such as the president, vice presidents, and deans. In addition, they satisfy external requests for data. Typical responsibilities include: strategic planning support, personnel and staffing analyses, enrollment management, program evaluation, accountability reporting, budget and financial analyses, facilities planning, among many other duties. They are concerned with the health and development of the college or university as an organization that serves the educational needs of its' stakeholders.

Specifically at Shippensburg, the Office of Institutional Research and Planning serves as the linkage among the internal and external organizations which provide, request, and utilize information. The office is designated as the single source of "official" information. The office is responsible for:

University Information 

  • Collecting, organizing, and disseminating data and other information concerning the institution.
  • Publication of major informational collections (Profile, Snyder Report, Faculty Staffing Data, and Retention Rates Report).
  • Ensuring the adherence to the State System of Higher Education's Data Collection Plan.
  • Responding to internal data requests.
  • Responding to external data requests to include publications such as U.S. News and World Report and Peterson's Guides.
  • Participating in the assurance of data integrity of university information systems and databases.


  • Development and administration of university-wide assessment instruments.
  • Analyses and syntheses of information from these instruments.
  • Integration of assessment data into university decision-making processes.


  • Producing educational and organizational studies, reports, and summaries.
  • Coordinating University-wide Program Review.

Quality Assurance 

  • Shippensburg has a plan for data management—our system for collecting, cleaning, storing, monitoring, reviewing, and reporting of student data. Quality assurance aims to assure that the data were, in fact, collected in accordance with procedures required by all stakeholders, such as U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Post-Secondary Data System (IPEDS) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and that the data is stored securely and meets the requisite standards of quality. Inter-office collaboration occurs among functional areas to ensure data collected is coded in a manner that will allow tracking and reporting functionality.  To ensure posted student outcomes are accurate, data auditing first occurs at the functional (detail) level with the assistance of student information system reports aimed at identifying possible data inconsistencies. That data goes through another level of edit checking prior to submission and/or external release and is cross-verified with aggregate summary data.