DISSERTATION DEFENSE ANNOUNCEMENT Ed.D. Program with Mark Allen Pelham: “Strengthening the Third Pillar of Rutgers University: Exploring Practical Institutional Self-Assessment and Data Collection Practices in Support of a Public Service Mission”
This dissertation intends to inform self-assessment and data collection practices within Rutgers University and act upon the encouragement of university leadership to advance the potential of the public service mission. These goals are accomplished by exploring relevant questions to inform the practices of institutional research (IR) and institutional effectiveness (IE) professionals. These questions include:
-What IR and IE pursuits would have the most significant impact on supporting the long-term growth and success of Rutgers’ public service initiatives?
-What data and measures can be utilized for tracking institutional performance and stakeholder activities vis-à-vis Rutgers’ public service mission?
Several additional supporting questions provide further areas of exploration.
Using a qualitative design, this research combines interview feedback from within and outside of Rutgers University, as well as evidence and data from publicly available research, publications, and secondary sources. Ultimately, this evidence informs the design of a dissertation writeup that conforms to a problem of practice dissertation standard and addresses challenges within a particular professional context with practical practice and policy proposals.
This research asserts that if we evolve an IR culture, we can better understand ourselves as an ongoing supporter of public service and community engagement. IR offices can also explore what data, measures, and assessments can be employed for tracking institutional performance and stakeholder activities vis-à-vis a public service mission. This dissertation also offers several larger practice and policy recommendations, including connecting equity and social mobility ideals to its public service mission, evolving the university’s bureaucratic structures to support public and community engagement, and developing a university-wide expectation that every school and unit identifies how they engage with the public.
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