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University System Uses Internet to Make Data Easily Accessible

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Atlanta — September 11, 2002

Among the tenets of Gov. Roy E. Barnes’ Education Reform package was a call for educators to increase their accountability by making educational performance indicators and other statistical data more readily accessible to Georgia citizens. The University System of Georgia has gotten a jump on this charge with a new addition to its web site (www.usg.edu) unveiled at today’s meeting of the Board of Regents.

“USG by the Numbers” is a “web portal” to up-to-the-minute information about the state’s 34 public colleges and universities that will allow Internet users to generate customized reports using data stored in an electronic data warehouse and updated continuously throughout the year. Through the portal, the public can research data on USG enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and degrees conferred by gender, ethnicity and other variables.

“Our goal is to provide the public and our campuses with self-service access to USG data, as much as possible,” said Randall Thursby, vice chancellor for information and instructional technology and chief information officer for the University System. “Expanding public access to the data is just phase one of a project that we began planning two years ago. Providing access to USG financial data is next, and additional capabilities for student-related data also will be added.”

Thursby anticipates adding information on USG curricula, facilities and human resources to the data warehouse, fueling the generation of individualized reports. External data such as surveys, state-wide and national statistics also will be available through the portal.

When fully developed, the University System’s new data warehouse will integrate all the student, academic, facilities and accounting data now collected separately, allowing comparisons previously available only with much effort. “This project would not have been possible without a great deal of collaboration among the Board of Regents’ academic, fiscal affairs and strategic planning staffs,” Thursby said. “The work done by all of these units really will expand access to our data and provide better visibility to the efforts of the University System to serve the citizens of the State.”

The web portal “USG by the Numbers” is ready for use today, and can be accessed directly at http://info.usg.edu/

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