Esteban is the newly hired Director of Institutional Research at a large, public university with a...

Esteban is the newly hired Director of Institutional Research at a large, public university with a relatively new president. The president has articulated a culture of making “data-based decisions” in a climate of decreased state funding, flat or decreasing enrollment, and increasingly scarce resources. She has commenced a formal “program review” process whereby all academic programs must demonstrate their efficiency, viability, and relevance, in addition to crafting a plan for future growth in enrollment and credit hours. Estaban’s office is appropriately, substantively, intimately involved in this process—providing extensive data and information to dozens of academic units—a process that been neither easy nor without discontent as programs, deans, and faculty members are confronted with information and realities they may not have wanted to address. Not surprisingly, some groups are either more open-minded to this data or are better able to understand it. The president has put Esteban in charge of crafting the final report and wants him to accompany her in all the final, information-sharing meetings. Effective communication of the findings falls in large part upon Esteban. Finally, to complicate matters, the data and findings do not reinforce or support some of the president’s desired outcomes, putting Esteban in a precarious position.

1) How can or should Esteban vary his presentation of data and overall message to diverse sets of faculty and staff groups?

2) How does Esteban balance the realities of the data with the president’s priorities, which are not well aligned?

3) Is Esteban’s primary responsibility to the “data,” the president, or the university?

Homework Answers

Answer #1
  1. If Esteban varies his overall data to match up to the expectations of the president, it would mean that he would be coming up with data that is unreal. He should not be doing this, since, this practice would encourage the other members of the institution carry out similar practices, thus, this practice should not be encouraged.
  2. It is not possible to to balance achieving perfect scores and not having them in reality. In order to balance the same,m Esteban could go with the real data along with plans thatnwould help in obtaining the desired result next time.
  3. Esteban’s primary responsibility is the university. Since, in the end he is accountable to the university and not only the president. The president works for the university as well.
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