New Directions for Institutional Research, M. W. Peterson proposed that the future would challenge institutional research not only to help improve institutions but also to help facilitate their redesign and transformation. It appears that Peterson?s future has arrived. With the increasing demands placed on colleges and universities?requirements for continuous improvement, evidence–based decision–making, and accountability?institutional research offices must now do more than report and fill data requests. Moreover, with budgets shrinking, institutions must search for more efficient and effective ways of working, make decisions about which work will continue to be performed and how, and perhaps reorganize their existing programs, structures, and patterns. These needs may also demand more of institutional research. At most schools, however, for institutional research to play this new, substantive role, the field will first need to redesign and transform itself.
This is the 143rd volume of the Jossey–Bass higher education report series New Directions for Institutional Research. Always timely and comprehensive, New Directions for Institutional Research provides planners and administrators in all types of academic institutions with guidelines in such areas as resource coordination, information analysis, program evaluation, and institutional management.