Position Specification Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia

Position Specification
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia
Director of Institutional Research
Old Dominion University (ODU) is located in Hampton Roads, one of
the world’s major seaports. Since the early seventeenth century,
Hampton Roads has been the state’s gateway to the rest of the world
and the world’s gateway to Virginia in terms of commerce and industry,
recreation and culture, and national security. Now a complex of seven
major cities, it is a microcosm of the opportunities and challenges of
contemporary urban America. It is also a major center for research and development and a home for
extensive scientific and technological activities in marine science, aerospace, ship design and construction,
advanced electronics, and nuclear physics.
The University takes its unique character from Hampton Roads as it provides leadership to the state and
nation in teaching, research, and service. The University has a special mission for the Commonwealth in
commerce, and in international affairs and cultures. ODU also has a significant commitment in science,
engineering and technology--particular fields of major importance to the region. As a metropolitan institution,
the ODU places an emphasis upon urban issues, including education and health care, and the fine and
performing arts.
As one of America’s major ports, Hampton Roads is the locus of national and international military
commands, and the home of a culturally diverse population. The University has natural strengths in activities
having international outreach. Faculty members in such fields as business, economics, international studies,
geography, and the sciences strive to design curricula, teach courses, and encourage foreign exchanges that
enhance the University’s role as Virginia’s international institution.
The Hampton Roads scientific environment provides special opportunities for science and engineering
faculty to emphasize research and graduate programs in such fields such as marine science, aerospace, and
advanced electronics. Global ocean studies and cooperative research with NASA receive particular attention,
as University researchers collaborate with U.S. and foreign engineers and scientists.
Urban issues are addressed by programs in public administration, education, the social sciences, and the
health professions. The richness of Hampton Roads’ artistic life gives great vitality to the University’s
programs in the visual arts, music, theater, and dance.
Institutional Overview
Founded in 1930, Old Dominion University is a public doctoral research university enrolling approximately
25,000 students. The University’s main campus is located in Norfolk, Virginia on 188 acres. Its in-state tuition
and fees are $7,890; out-of-state tuition and fees are $22,230. The total institutional endowment as of 2013
was $180 million.
ODU’s eminent scholarship and innovative and engaging teaching foster nationally recognized programs,
faculty bring classrooms to life, and students apply their newfound knowledge in the University’s awardwinning internship program at multi-national corporations, governmental laboratories, and a variety of
organizations around the globe.
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia is a city of some 242,803 residents and more than 100 diverse neighborhoods. It is the
cultural, educational, business, and medical center of Hampton Roads, hosts the world’s largest naval base,
the region’s international airport, and is one of the busiest international ports on the East Coast.
The city is undergoing a successful renewal, including new office, retail, entertainment, and hotel construction
downtown, new residential development along the rivers and bay front, and revitalization projects in many of
its neighborhoods. Norfolk has added thousands of new residents to its downtown – turning it into a vibrant,
lively place to live, visit or work. Light rail opened in 2011 and provided 1.6 million rides in the first year. The
line carries passengers from the Virginia Beach border, through Norfolk neighborhoods and into the heart of
downtown. In December of 2012, Amtrak began passenger service from Norfolk to major cities in the east.
Founded in 1682, Norfolk grew up on the water, and its miles of lake, river and bay
front are central to many of its neighborhoods. The city’s popular logo, an elegant
young mermaid, which can be spotted in outdoor sites from Downtown to Ocean
View, symbolizes 300 years of maritime and naval heritage and its modern reputation
as a city on the move.
Attractions such as the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin, a salute to the
city’s long-standing relationship with the Navy, Nauticus, the
Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the new Cruise and
Celebration Center dot Norfolk’s easily-walked downtown
waterfront. Here, tugboats and visiting cruise ships share the waters
with sailboats and merchant ships. The waterfront is also home to
Town Point Park, a recently refurbished green space that houses
summer festivals, fountains, walkways, and tributes to the city’s
naval history. Other treasures such as the Chrysler Museum,
Norfolk Botanical Garden, and the Virginia Zoological Park are
close by.
Norfolk is home to the Port Authority, Norfolk-Southern Railway,
the Virginia Symphony, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk
State University, Tides baseball and the Admirals hockey teams,
state of the art research facilities, shipping companies, and an
exuberant arts and cultural community.
ODU Vision Statement
Old Dominion University will be recognized nationally and internationally as a forward-focused metropolitan
university with a collaborative and innovative approach to education and research that spurs economic
growth, focuses on student success, engages civic and community partners, and uses its connections with the
military and maritime industries and its exceptional strengths and leadership in related areas to provide
practical solutions to complex, real world problems.
Mission Support
Old Dominion University serves the needs of several internal and external constituents with its resources.
These include: current and prospective students seeking undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education
programs; business and industry; government agencies at all levels; the military; research organizations; and
the community at large regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally.
Old Dominion University offers a wide array of undergraduate programs, all of which meet national
standards of excellence. Every Old Dominion undergraduate student follows a general education program
that is designed to develop the intellectual skills of critical thinking and problem solving, to encompass the
breadth of understanding needed for personal growth and achievement, and for responsible citizenship. This
general education program places special emphasis upon appreciation of the arts and upon understanding the
perspectives of women, minorities, and non-Western cultures. Each undergraduate chooses a major program
in the liberal arts or sciences or in a technological or professional field.
Old Dominion University’s graduate offerings are focused on society’s need for
advanced professional education and on specialized programs at the master’s and
doctoral levels.
As a national leader in the field of technology-delivered distance learning, the
University strives to enhance the quality of the educational experience, wherever
education is delivered, by applying emerging technologies; it also supports research to
explore the impact of these technologies on the teaching-learning process. By utilizing
these technologies and by partnering with institutions of higher education,
corporations, and governmental entities, the University is able to provide
undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students across time and geographic
With its commitment to Hampton Roads and its emphasis on creative innovation, Old Dominion University
offers lifelong learning opportunities, through credit and non-credit courses, and brings educational services
and programs to the people of Hampton Roads at several off campus centers. The University has a
responsibility to serve the many members of the military services and their families. The military forms a
unique combination of national and international constituents because they are from other locales in the
United States and are looking to become, among other things, internationally capable in an international
As a center of learning, Old Dominion University is committed to the principle of free inquiry. The
University faculty, composed of distinguished teacher-scholars, seeks to pass on the best in academic tradition
while establishing themselves at the forefront of discovery and creativity. As partners in the development of
the University’s future, faculty members enjoy full academic freedom and have a recognized role in the
decision making process of the University. Mindful of present and future needs for a multicultural academic
climate, the University deems recruitment and retention of professional and women faculty members and
staff to be essential.
The University is committed to providing the highest quality instruction to all of its students. Teaching
excellence is encouraged through faculty development programs and appropriate recognition of superior
The University seeks in its student body a diversity of age,
gender, ethnic, religious, social, and national backgrounds. It
actively recruits American minority students along with students
from other countries worldwide in such numbers as to have their
presence make a discernible impact upon the University’s
educational processes. Old Dominion recognizes its mandate to
serve both the academically gifted and those who have the
potential for academic success despite educational, social, or
economic disadvantages.
To evaluate its accomplishments against its goals, a continuing process of systematic assessment is given high
priority by the University. Information gained from such efforts is utilized to ensure the highest possible
quality for all University programs. The Board of Visitors will conduct a periodic review of the University’s
mission and major goals in conjunction with representatives of the major University constituencies. The
review will ensure that the mission clearly identifies the University’s unique role in Virginia’s public higher
education system and assures that the University is focusing its resources to be the best that it can be in that
role to achieve its mission and accomplish the major goals.
Institutional Leadership
John R. Broderick, President
John R. Broderick has served as the eighth president of Old Dominion University
since 2008.
As president, he guides the University’s six colleges, more than 10 economic
development and research centers, and numerous partnerships with government,
military and business organizations and agencies. He oversees an operating budget
in excess of $526 million and more than 3,000 faculty and staff members.
More than $338 million capital projects have been authorized or completed on his
watch, including academic buildings, research centers, residence halls, athletic
facilities, and arts venues. Under his leadership, the University completed an
ambitious master plan and two strategic plans to guide its growth over the coming
His leadership on campus has resulted in several initiatives to position Old Dominion as Virginia’s forwardfocused, public doctoral research university, efforts which have also attracted attention at the state and
national levels. President Broderick serves as one of six college presidents on the Governor’s Commission on
Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment, and in 2012 was appointed to the American
Association of State Colleges and Universities Council of State Representatives. Additionally, the University
has been named a Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Place to Work.”
Shortly after becoming president, President Broderick introduced a University-wide initiative to set a new
standard for student success and student learning, which included a $10.2 million Student Success Center and
Learning Commons and the creation of a vice president position and division for student engagement and
enrollment services. Additionally, he has led efforts to keep the University affordable and accessible, while
maintaining academic standards. He was awarded the 2012 American College Personnel Association’s
Contribution to Higher Education Award, one of the national organization’s highest honors, for his
leadership in student success initiatives.
To support his vision of Old Dominion as a leader in local and statewide economic development and the goto solutions provider for Hampton Roads and beyond, the University launched the ODU Business Gateway
as a business-friendly entry point to the University.
President Broderick’s pursuit of parity in state funding and responsiveness to legislative calls for more
efficiency, affordability and access in higher education have led to historic levels of state funding for Old
Dominion and several of its initiatives, in particular modeling and simulation, bioelectrics, increased STEM
degrees and online programs, and student financial aid, among others. Over the past two years, Old
Dominion received more than $30 million in additional funding from the General Assembly.
Private support for Old Dominion has also increased during President Broderick’s tenure. The University has
raised more than $100 million in gifts and commitments and its endowment has increased $50 million. An
$11 million gift from alumnus Mark Strome will support President Broderick’s vision for an entrepreneurial
curriculum and co-curricular activities and services for students in all disciplines.
In 2011, the University launched a comprehensive civic and community engagement initiative. More than
11,000 students engaged in community service last year, equating to more than 375,000 hours spent tutoring,
offering health check-ups, reading to the elderly, beautifying neighborhoods, and cleaning local waterways,
among other activities. Faculty and staff provided another 54,000 hours of service for more than 800
organizations. Old Dominion was recently recognized for the second consecutive year on the President of the
United States’ Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
President Broderick oversaw the renewal of football at Old Dominion in 2009, with the Monarchs posting
the most successful record of any start-up team in FCS history. He served on the NCAA board of directors
and as chair of the President’s Football Championship Series advisory committee. This past summer, the
University joined Conference USA and its football program was reclassified to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
President Broderick currently serves as the vice chair of the Conference USA board.
Prior to becoming president, he served as vice president of institutional advancement and admissions and
chief of staff to the president. His areas of responsibility included admissions, athletics, community and
governmental relations, marketing, media relations, military affairs, and student financial aid.
In addition to his administrative duties, President Broderick annually teaches a graduate course in the Darden
College of Education. He also has lectured on leadership for a variety of institutions and organizations,
including the University of Bologna and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Executive Association.
President Broderick has been recognized for his contributions to higher education and the Hampton Roads
community with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Humanitarian Award, the Urban League of
Hampton Roads’ Marian Palmer Capps Award, the College Communicators Association Distinguished
Service Award, Lead Hampton Roads’ Julian F. Hirst Award for excellence in community, civic and
professional leadership, and a 2011 Visionary Award from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. In
December of 2013, Old Dominion’s Diversity Champion Award was renamed in his honor for his leadership
and efforts to encourage a culture of inclusion and diversity.
Throughout his career, President Broderick has been actively engaged in numerous community and
professional organizations. He currently is a board member of the Hampton Roads Partnership, Urban
League, and MacArthur Foundation, and served for many years as a youth soccer league coach in
Prior to joining Old Dominion University, President Broderick was a faculty member in the University of
Pittsburgh system and an administrator at St. Bonaventure University. He received a bachelor’s degree from
Northeastern University and a graduate degree from St. Bonaventure.
Ellen Neufeldt, Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services
Ellen Neufeldt joined Old Dominion University on in June of 2011. She was hired
to lead the brand new Division of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services.
The new division was established following the report of a committee appointed by
President Broderick, whose findings included a recommendation that such a vice
presidential area be created. As Broderick announced in his 2010 State of the
University address, the new division furthers “our commitment to student success
and student learning” and reflects the University’s strategic plan goal of providing
students the tools they need to succeed.
Neufeldt is responsible for the development, implementation, communication, and
maintenance of an institutional focus on success. Along with Provost Carol
Simpson, she co-chairs the Student Success Committee and the Strategic Enrollment
Steering Group. The committee is charged with ensuring that, through ODU’s programs and services, the
University is doing everything it can so that students have every opportunity to succeed. That includes having
a campus-wide, cohesive enrollment plan in place.
Prior to arriving at ODU, Dr. Neufeldt had served as vice president at Salisbury University since 2005.
Located on the Eastern Shore in Salisbury, Maryland, Salisbury University is a member of the University
System of Maryland. A regionally accredited four-year comprehensive institution, it has an enrollment of
8,055. In addition to her experience with the traditional functions of student affairs, she led the enrollment
management initiative at Salisbury, including the supervision of admissions and financial aid.
Neufeldt previously served as assistant vice chancellor for student development and dean of student life at the
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She also served as a faculty member in its master’s program in
educational counseling. Neufeldt has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in
educational psychology and counselor education from Tennessee Technological University, and a doctorate in
education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Scott Harrison, Assistant Vice President for Administration, Student Engagement & Enrollment Services
Dr. Scott Harrison has over 25 years of experience in higher education and has served
the past three years as assistant vice president for administration in the Division of
Student Engagement & Enrollment Services. Harrison’s experiences in student affairs
and enrollment management include information technology systems administration,
assessment and evaluation, database development and reporting, student life, budget
management, and communications.
Prior to assuming his current position, Harrison served as assistant dean and director
of information technology and assessment for the Division of Student Affairs at
ODU. While serving in that capacity, he led initiatives including the development of
an online co-curricular transcript and student organization roster tracking and
reporting system and a Council for the Advancement of Standards Self-Assessment process for the division.
Harrison also served previously as assistant director of student activities.
Harrison holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration and a master’s degree in psychology from Old
Dominion University, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and business administration from Salisbury
University in Salisbury, Maryland. He holds memberships in the Southern Association for College Student
Affairs, Virginia Assessment Group, and NASPA.
The Academic Program
ODU offers 70 bachelor’s, 54 master’s and 42 doctoral degree programs and two educational specialists
degrees through its Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Public Administration, Education, Engineering
and Technology, Health Sciences, and Sciences.
Special academic programs include first-year experiences, service learning, senior capstone or culminating
academic experience, writing in the disciplines, undergraduate research/creative projects, and learning
communities. Special study options include accelerated program, cooperative (work-study plan) program,
cross-registration, distance learning, double major, dual enrollment, English as a Second Language (ESL),
exchange student program (domestic), honors program, independent study, internships, liberal arts/career
combination, student-designed major, study abroad, and teacher certificate program. Pre-law, pre-dentistry,
pre-medicine, pre-veterinary science, pre-optometry, and pre-pharmacy are available as pre-professional
The Student Body
As of fall 2013:
19,819 undergraduate students
5,009 graduate students
1,092 international students from 105 countries
53.5 percent women
24 percent live on campus
21 to 1: student to faculty ratio
Additionally the student population breaks down as:
Undergraduate In-State: 94%
Undergraduate Out-of-State: 6%
Region from which most U.S. students come: Southeast
International student population: 1.5%
Percent of undergraduate students who are age 25 and older: 26%
Old Dominion University’s Office of Institutional Research has other relevant statistics on its website:
Full-time: 722
Part-time: 502
An Overview of the Division of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services (SEES)
In August of 2010, President Broderick announced the creation of a new position, vice president for student
engagement and enrollment services. For several months leading up to the announcement, the President’s
Advisory Committee on Student Success examined the report from an external consulting firm; reviewed
numerous national and local studies and articles related to student success; met with campus stakeholders to
solicit their feedback and input; and solicited feedback from faculty, staff and students. The committee also
assessed various organizational models, and discussed the student success work currently being performed
within the University, in an effort to recommend a proposed student success portfolio of departments,
programs, and services to the President. The rationale for the creation of this new position was the need for a
divisional leader for student engagement and enrollment services to be at the same executive level as other
divisional leaders and possess a comparable level of influence within the organizational hierarchy of the
The Advisory Committee also recommended the establishment of the Student Success and Enrollment
Management Advisory Board co-chaired by the provost and the new vice president.
Division of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services: Mission, Summary of Strategic
Goals, and Organizational Structure
As a student-centered educational partner, the Student Engagement and Enrollment Services division,
impacts the learning environment through an innovative signature experience that seamlessly connects
recruitment, engagement, active learning, and student success. It is the Division’s vision to be the pre-eminent
model for engaging every student to achieve success. Its mission, structure and operations reflect the
following values:
Exemplary Service—By believing serving others is a noble and worthy endeavor, SEES employees strive to
achieve excellence in every service interaction. The Division adheres to specific University standards and
demonstrates service behavior that is consistently professional, ethical, respectful, knowledgeable,
responsive, and collaborative.
Collaboration—SEES values partnerships with those inside and outside the University as a means to
advance learning, achieve shared goals, and build a stronger sense of community.
Diversity/Inclusivity—SEES demonstrates its respect and appreciation for the history, traditions, and
culture of all members of the University community. SEES promotes cultural competency and a
supportive environment; and celebrates the unique contributions, similarities and differences of all
Student Success—SEES supports the personal and professional success of every student, promotes student
learning and achievement in its service delivery, and believes in keeping students and their success at the
forefront of making service-related decisions.
Learning—SEES utilizes the integration of academic learning and student development to promote the
simultaneous advancement of cognitive understanding and a sense of personal maturity and interpersonal
effectiveness. The Division continuously educates students, faculty, and staff through proactive
collaboration and professional expertise.
Innovation—SEES supports forward thinking, the creative use of technology, and the employment of
systematic inquiry to advance student success and continuously improve our programs and services.
Strategic Goals
SEES identified the following goals to enhance academic success, student learning, and retention, while
promoting collaboration within and outside of the division:
1. Strategically lead enrollment management through dynamic recruitment and retention practices that
facilitate student success.
2. Develop intentional opportunities for meaningful connections to the University.
3. Collaboratively impact learning through integrated, developmentally appropriate educational
4. Deliver comprehensive services through the use of innovative practices and relevant technology.
5. Effectively prioritize and utilize resources (human, financial and physical) to support programs and
Organizational Structure
The Division of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services is comprised of the following units:
Admissions—Graduate, International, Military, and Undergraduate
Career Management Center
Center for Major Exploration
Counseling Center
Enrollment Management
Financial Aid
Housing and Residence Life
Intercultural Relations
Institutional Research
Military Connection Center
New Student and Parent Programs/Preview
Recreation and Wellness
Leadership and Student Involvement
Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
Student Engagement
Student Health Center
Student Ombudsperson Services
Women’s Center
Office of Institutional Research
The Office of Institutional Research serves as the analytical arm of Old Dominion University’s central
administration. As part of its function, the office assists in systematically planning the University’s future,
managing its resources, and analyzing its performance.
The role of Institutional Research is to:
provide analytical and technical support to the executive management of the University to support
strategic planning and data-based decision-making;
coordinate and support the reporting of staffing patterns, evaluations, process improvement, services
review, institutional planning, student outcomes and follow-up, student and staff characteristics,
enrollment management, institutional demographics, data integrity, and state, federal, and private
agency reporting requirements;
produce the University Factbook, which is available for use by all members of the University
community via the University website;
create and maintain databases for reporting academic performance, retention/attrition, and
graduation data.
History of the Position and the Office
Dr. Martha Sharpe had served in institutional research at Old Dominion for 30 years, most recently as the
vice provost for planning and institutional effectiveness, prior to her retirement in 2014. In this capacity she
served as the senior institutional research officer and liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools Commission on Colleges. Her position oversaw accreditation, accountability systems, institutional
research, and assessment.
The office had been the Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Office and most recently reported to the
Chief Operating Officer. The office included a staff of five in institutional research and a staff of three in
assessment. The assessment function was split from institutional research in 2012 with that line reporting to
the provost. In May, with the retirement of Sharpe, the Institutional Research office is now reporting in the
SEES division to Dr. Scott Harrison and the Office of University Assessment continues to report to the
The IR office is currently staffed with four full-time staff and one half-time staff member that splits his time
between the business office and institutional research. There are currently two vacant positions within the
unit. The IR office is responsible for state and federal reporting, external surveys, reputational surveys, and ad
hoc research such as college program reviews. IR responds to approximately 35 external surveys a year, ten
internal surveys, and provides general support to ODU’s assessment office particularly with regard to
providing demographic data.
ODU’s enterprise system is Banner and SASS is used for technology interfaces. Information Technology
Services (ITS) holds the data, each institutional service area has its own data consultant that ensures the data
gets in the system, and IR serves as the point of entry for all the data collection. The IR office leads the
campus committee on data standards.
ODU’s last full institutional re-accreditation was in 2012, however, the accreditation function as well as the
SACS liaison appointment, is housed in Academic Affairs. The University’s Office of University Assessment
works with data assessment coordinators in each of the schools and colleges and runs two different data
collection platforms for assessment—WEAVE and LiveText.
Responsibilities of the Position
Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Administration, Student Engagement & Enrollment Services,
the Director of Institutional Research will provide vision, leadership, and management to the University’s
institutional research program. The Director will be responsible for:
providing vision, leadership, and management to a comprehensive institutional research program that
supports the University’s mission and strategic initiatives;
performing the statistical and analytical work associated with the collection, review, analyses
distribution, and presentation of information;
supporting the institutional strategic planning process through creating measureable goals, providing
pertinent data, and determining the effectiveness of outcomes;
designing and implementing data collection systems including the compilation, analysis and
distribution of research data in the appropriate forms to the University community;
selecting, adapting, and applying the appropriate quantitative and qualitative research design and
statistical tools and techniques to all areas of study;
organizing and presenting research-based information, providing clear and effective analyses and
interpretation of the data, and producing and distributing periodic reports to the University
collaborating with the University’s Office of Assessment and the SEES Assessment and Planning
office in collecting, organizing, and supporting the data and data collection required for assessment
assisting in the creation and measurement of goals and outcomes for University initiatives and
preparing analyses and studies of University and community demographics, enrollment, student
retention, staffing projections and reports, and annual projections and updates, etc.;
collecting, organizing, and maintaining a wide range of data from across the institution and
developing efficient methods for accessing, searching, and disseminating the data to internal and
external stakeholders;
working closely with Institutional Technology Services to insure, institution wide, appropriate data
collection, storage, access, and integrity;
keeping abreast of state and federal legislative actions that have implications for research and
evaluation programs at the University, regional, state, and national level;
examining the University, service areas, regional, state, and national data and trends to determine
the possible impact on the University and the populations it serves;
preparing data and processing the information necessary for timely Higher Education Policy
Commission, state and federal government mandated reports; generating and providing the data
for accountability reports (i.e., IPEDs, Factbook, University annual reports, private agency surveys);
developing and maintaining a collection of the necessary data and reports to support program
accreditations, enrollment, human resource functions, resource allocations, etc.;
designing survey instruments, coordinating a variety of surveying activities, summarizing and
preparing survey results and reports;
participating in regional/national professional organizations and serving on University committees.
Characteristics of the Successful Candidate
The new director will possess a master’s degree in an appropriate academic discipline, a doctorate is preferred,
with demonstrated experience in quantitative research methods and statistics, and a sound knowledge of
qualitative research methods. The successful candidate will possess five or more years of relevant experience
in a higher education management/leadership role that includes data collection, analysis, and interpretation;
state and federal agency reporting; and project management and assessment.
A demonstrable knowledge of financial modeling, trend analysis and statistical forecasting; the ability to
attend to multiple projects simultaneously and determine priorities; the ability to coordinate with efficiency,
speed, and accuracy the routine collection, analysis, and dissemination of institutional data; and, a high degree
of skill conducting descriptive and inferential data analysis are all important in the selection of the new
As articulated by ODU stakeholders, the successful candidate will ideally possess the following characteristics
(in no particular order):
experience with strategic planning and data informed decision making in a higher education
knowledge of trends and best practices in institutional research and data analysis;
understanding of data analytics or “big data” and its implications for student success and institutional
knowledge of data collection, analysis, and interpretation, state and federal agency reporting, and
project management and assessment;
excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills;
demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects, shifting demands and competing priorities;
strong communication and presentation skills, including the ability to present technical and complex
data to multiple audiences;
ability to adapt to changing circumstances and opportunities while remaining committed to
continuous improvement;
supervisory experience and ability to lead staff, communicate expectations, delegate effectively, and
support ongoing training and professional development of staff;
strong interpersonal skills and effectiveness in maintaining a visible and engaged role across the
University, actively working with a wide range of stakeholders;
the ability to clearly explain and articulate the analysis and outcomes of the data and to build trust
across the institution in the integrity of the data and analysis of the data;
evidence of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards that engenders trust in others.
Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position
The former director was the face of the Office of Institutional Research across the University—setting
expectations for service, managing competing priorities, determining response times, and insuring outputs.
Following the retirement of this longtime director and the reorganization of the institutional research and
assessment functions, there is an opportunity to develop robust collaborations across the University and to
further refine the institution’s understanding of IR generally and the work of the IR office specifically.
Moreover, data collection is spread out across the campus in a variety of different units and systems outside
of Banner— including the Registrar, Enrollment, Advancement, and Human Resources the result of which is
that IR has not necessarily been seen as the institutional source for all the institutional data.
The role of Institutional Research is evolving at ODU and the next director will have an opportunity to play a
key leadership role in the University’s data collection efforts to ensure that data is effectively analyzed and
disseminated, helping to inform decision making and improve institutional excellence across the University.
Specifically, likely challenges and opportunities include:
developing and articulating a clear strategic vision for Institutional Research at ODU and working
closely and transparently with key stakeholders to have IR viewed as a critical part of the University’s
planning infrastructure;
expanding the function of Institutional Research beyond being an aggregator of data—an office that
collects the pieces of data that are needed for reporting and reports the data—to one that also is
engaged in the analysis, modeling, and trending of data;
cultivating a stronger relationship between IR and Information Technology Services; the relationship
currently rests at a basic level—ITS manages Banner, the interface with all supplemental database
systems, and does all the coding in Banner so that all users can run basic reports;
carefully considering the opportunities for IR in conjunction with the needs of the University-should IR provide longitudinal data assessments, analysis, trending, validation, compliance,
forecasting, etc.? How to develop IR as an office that is seen as leading with institutional data,
working collaboratively with institutional stakeholders to develop a definitive plan for securing,
managing, and reporting institutional data?
providing leadership in the development and execution of an institutional plan for institutional
research, particularly as it collaborates with University assessment functions; there are many potential
directions for the IR office but the new director will be expected to drive IR in a direction that meets
the needs of institutional stakeholders in a holistic, collaborative, and efficient manner.
Measures of Success for the Position
The following items will define the new director’s success by the end of the first year of employment:
The new director will be extremely collaborative and develop strong relationships with academic
affairs, ITS, Human Resources, Enrollment, the Registrar, Advancement, etc.;
The new director will have done an in-depth review of the current work of the office against the
needs of multiple campus stakeholders to determine the potential for more institutional
collaborations, greater expanse of service to the institutional community, and development of a clear
infrastructure of institutional research support across all units on campus;
The new director will have begun the development of a strategic plan for the IR office that includes
schedules for research project support, clear institutional data standards, transparency with regard to
who has access to data, and a customer service philosophy of providing research support across the
The new director will be developing parameters and definitions with regard to data analysis, trending,
forecasting, modeling, etc.—what is possible for the IR office to do now and what can the office
aspire to do to meet stakeholder demands for research and data;
The new director will position IR fully into the institutional fabric and have articulated goals around
supporting the University’s strategic planning, assessment, reporting, accreditation, etc.
Benefits Overview
Old Dominion University offers a comprehensive benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of
faculty and staff. Benefits are competitive and are an important component of the total compensation
package. ODU offers a robust choice of health and welfare plans including medical, dental, vision, flexible
spending, disability, and life insurance plans. Benefits include the following:
Health Insurance
Life Insurance
Short Term Disability
Long Term Disability
Retirement Plan
Deferred Compensation Plans
Flexible Spending Accounts
Vacation and Holidays
For more detailed information about ODU benefits including eligibility, please visit:
Application and Nomination
Applications, including a position-specific cover letter and resume, may be submitted online at
Nominations or questions about this position may be emailed to Ellen Heffernan at
[email protected] If you are unable to submit materials electronically, please call SJG at 413529-2895.
SJG – The Spelman & Johnson Group
Old Dominion – Director, Institutional Research
Ellen Heffernan, Partner
Please visit the Old Dominion website at www.odu.edu
Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and
requires compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
SJG has prepared this document based on personal interviews and information copied, compiled, or quoted in part from
source documents obtained from our client institution, and as such, the contents of this document are believed to be
reliable. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, the original source documents and
factual situations govern, and the material presented here should be relied upon for informational purposes only.