By Julia Michaels, Executive Director, Center for Public University Transformation
Sharing data is essential: it helps us measure what we want to improve, increases transparency and trust, and uncovers hidden inequities. Disaggregating data down to the finest possible point helps universities identify which students are least well-served on their campuses. A commitment to sharing key data was one of the requirements for participation in Powered by Publics, and our second strategic priority that we shared earlier this summer.
I am pleased to report that we are making progress with Core Data Metrics! We have 101 universities signed up in our data portal and 74 institutions that have submitted at least some data. I am amazed and overwhelmed by your commitment to data, even during this unprecedented crisis.
Because really, that’s the ultimate goal: to have critical data at your fingertips whenever you might need it and know what to do with it. A data-informed campus will reference data frequently, easily, and (ideally) automatically. And everyone – from front line staff, to faculty, to leaders – will know how to apply it to their work. It’s an ideal that many public universities are working toward and have made tremendous progress over the past decade.
If you haven’t submitted your campus data yet, there’s still time. We have extended the deadline to October 16 to allow campuses to complete their uploads. Just let us know how much more time you will need by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re new to the process, the very first step is to designate a main point of contact(s), ideally someone on your campus who is familiar with institutional data submissions, and we will send them credentials for logging into the portal at data.aplu.org. Further details, including guidelines, a data dictionary, and the FAQ are available on our website at aplu.org/cdm.
I look forward to sharing the results of the Core Data Metrics data collection with you with you this Fall, once we complete our analysis. Everyone will receive copies of the aggregate reports, and VSA Analytics subscribers will also be able to access the data through their dashboard, allowing for custom benchmarking with peer institutions.
Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to participate in this process, often under stressful and challenging circumstances (and a special shout-out to Ohio University which submitted ninety files for their six branch campuses!). My deepest gratitude is for my colleague Dr. Denise Nadasen, who has calmly and confidently guided all of you through this process and troubleshooting issues along the way. No matter how busy she is, she always seems to have time to personally call campus IR offices that are struggling and walk them through the process. Thank you Denise for all you do!