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Office of Planning
    and Analysis

Montana State University
PO Box 172435
Bozeman, MT 59717-2435

Tel: (406) 994-2341
Fax: (406) 994-1893

> Office of Planning & Analysis
About the Office of Planning and Analysis

Mission: to provide data, expertise, analyses, and staffing necessary to support the University's planning, institutional research, and university assessment committees and processes.

The Office of Planning and Analysis supports the University's leaders, and its strategic planning processes, by providing objective, accurate, and timely information, analysis, and advice to inform the decision-making and resource allocation process. In addition, the Office conducts studies that describe, analyze, and evaluate the operations and outcomes of the University, and maintains an electronically accessible database of institutional trends.

It is a primary expectation of President Gamble that the University will engage in an open, data-rich, budget development process that is directly linked to the maintenance of a long-range plan, the identification of specific strategic priorities, and a detailed assessment of resource allocation outcomes.

Responsibilities and Activities
The Office of Planning and Analysis (OPA) provides support for university planning and public relations by maintaining trend databases of student and employee data to produce official university statistics. OPA provides these statistics for a wide on-campus constituency, such as students writing class reports or ASMSU proposals, faculty developing grant proposals or trend studies for particular courses, and administrators planning resource allocation. Off-campus requestors of institutional statistics include local news media, the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education, the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning, federal agencies, and other colleges and universities.

The Office of Planning and Analysis provides information for the University Planning, Budget and Analysis Committee (UPBAC) in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for academic departments; comparative cost and productivity data from the Delaware Study; and ad hoc reports.

Many of the statistics produced by OPA are available to the campus and the general public through MSU's Web site. OPA (then known as Institutional Research) played a key role in developing the university's first Web site in late 1994 and has given high priority to placing data and documents online. OPA's first online publication was "Quick Facts," a basic institutional profile based on the printed brochure "MSU-Bozeman At a Glance." OPA's oldest collection of institutional data, the Blue Book (originally named for the color of its binder), dates from 1976-77 and reports five years of productivity indicators for instructional departments, with data aggregated by college. The traditional Blue Book is available online, and OPA responded to requests for more years of historical data online by developing the Blue Book Archive.

The Office of Planning and Analysis provides data for over 100 surveys sent to MSU annually. Some are federally mandated, such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. OPA completes other surveys for state and federal agencies and for private enterprises, many of which collect comparative student data for college guidebooks. The Common Data Set (CDS), a format developed by four major guidebook publishers that has become the de facto standard for basic college reporting, is available online.

In addition to the institutional data described above, OPA has supported other offices by putting their institutional documents online, including the MSU Undergraduate Catalog, the Viewbook for prospective students, the Business Procedures Manual, and the Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual. OPA's goal is to turn the management of these documents over to the appropriate offices, as has already occurred with the Faculty Handbook, the Purchasing Manual, the Computing Policies Manual, and the Principal Investigator's Manual.

The Office of Planning and Analysis provides data and analysis support for several campus departments. OPA works closely with the Registrar's Office to handle requests for ad-hoc reports that can be generated from the trend databases. Personnel and Payroll Services refers questions concerning the count and composition of the workforce to OPA, and OPA completes many of the surveys requesting this information, such as the VETS-100 and Census E2 surveys. OPA produces the annual federal compliance reports for the Affirmative Action Office, including the workforce analysis, the utilization analysis, and the termination study. OPA assists Career Services with its annual employment survey of graduates by analyzing the data and producing online reports. OPA assists Athletics in preparing the NCAA graduation rate survey and the report required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act. For Admissions and New Student Services, OPA developed a report detailing the high school background and college persistence of entering freshman cohorts that can be prepared for any high schools in the state, and Admissions and New Student Services shares these reports with high school counselors. OPA has worked with University Relations to design, provide data, and conduct analyses for two economic impact studies. OPA also conducts the annual surveys of graduating seniors and alumni in conjunction with the assessment program. OPA tracks student retention, overall and for particular institutional retention programs such as freshman seminars, the challenge course, and outreach efforts based on results of the College Student Inventory.

The Office of Planning and Analysis developed and maintains the University Committees Web site, which is based on a database of membership and organizational information for committees with a campus-wide focus. OPA provides the data and analyses for conducting the annual faculty salary review, done in conjunction with Faculty Council to ensure that merit raises reflect performance evaluations and market raises are commensurate with national market salaries by rank and discipline. Each semester, OPA prepares department and institutional teaching load reports based on course instructor information collected from and verified by each academic department, based on definitions developed with the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education and the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.

Since February 2002, the Office of Planning and Analysis (OPA) reports to the President's Office, and the Executive Director is a member of the President's Executive Committee. Contact: Terry Dysart,

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 6/27/2003
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