Research and Policy Analysis

Research and Policy Analysis analyzes higher education and related state and national policy issues.

Mission Statement of the Office of Research and Policy Analysis

Research. Research and Policy Analysis (RPA) is the research arm of the Board of Regents, analyzing higher education and related state and national policy issues and their impact on the University System of Georgia. The research conducted by RPA focuses on students, financial aid, curriculum, and faculty. Examples include analysis of data on student enrollment behavior (such as admissions, retention, and graduation), use of part-time faculty, and financial aid. RPA serves as the point of primary contact for meeting the information needs of external entities and agencies.

Policy Analysis, Development, and Implementation. RPA collaborates with others in the System Office and the Division of Academic Affairs on policy development and implementation. RPA has taken lead roles in development and implementation of several BOR initiatives, including the 2001 admissions policy, graduation rate task force, comprehensive planning, enrollment management, the 1996 mission review, and USG Comprehensive Program Review.

USG Data System Administration for Students, Curriculum, and Degrees. RPA is responsible for administering the University System student, curriculum, financial aid, and degree data systems, interpreting Board policy, making sure that data needed to implement and evaluate policies are available at the System level, that definitions of data elements are standard and meaningful, and that relevant and valid interpretations of those data are used in development and implementation of BOR policy initiatives. The office works with the Office of Information & Instructional Technology, the Office of Students Services, and others to ensure data availability and accuracy. RPA collects data from other sources as appropriate, such as the annual collection of data on income received from contracts and grants.

Strategic Planning and Assessment. RPA provides guidance and support for University System planning and institutional effectiveness activities, including institutional strategic planning and University System comprehensive planning, general education and major area student learning outcomes assessment, and administrative and support function outcomes assessment. In Spring 2005 RPA administered the National Survey on Student Engagement and the Community College Survey on Student Engagement.

External Reporting. RPA coordinates the external reporting functions of the BOR, administering System-wide responses to the annual federal IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) surveys and the annual Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange surveys, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) data exchange, and other reports to external entities. RPA serves as the primary link with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for the State Report Card on higher education.

Service. RPA uses System data to provide feedback to USG institutions, through the Transfer Feedback System, and to high school principals and superintendents, through the High School Feedback System. Transfer feedback is intended to help sending colleges improve the preparation and ultimate success of students who intend to transfer to a four-year university. High school feedback is designed to provide information that high schools can use to improve the preparation of their students who enroll in USG institutions.

RPA serves as the liaison to System committees, such as the Research Advisory Committee, the Regents Administrative Committees on Institutional Effectiveness, Institutional Research and Planning, and Records and Admissions, and several academic committees. It also serves as the liaison to other state agencies on issues related to research, such as the State Department of Labor, State Department of Education, and Technical College System of Georgia.

Revised, June 10, 2008