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Research and Planning

The Office identifies, gathers, analyzes and provides institutional data to support strategic planning and decision-making monitoring efforts and progress on the Strategic Plans through data collection and analysis, assessment activities, accreditation planning activities compliance, and communicating key metrics.

Mission Statement

To collect, analyze, organize and communicate data and information that is consistently accurate to stakeholders in support of decision making, program evaluation, strategic planning, assessment, and accreditation provide a valid and advance its mission in support of its vision to become an institution of choice.



To establish a world-class institutional research operation and institutional effectiveness systems supporting the University's mission.


Goal and Purpose

In order to serve the Institution and advance the university’s mission and vision, Institutional Research & Planning has set the following goals and purposes that drive how the office is structured and operates:

  • Ensuring that data reports and analytic tools are readily available institution-wide to activate a broad network of institutional research aligned with strategic, tactical, and operational decisions.
  • Establish and maintain a multi-level institutional effectiveness system that promotes intentionality and deliberate improvement.
  • Maintaining compliance with requirements of the Southern Accreditation Commission and collaborating across the University with colleagues to maintain compliance with disciplinary accreditation agencies and other regulatory bodies;
  • Proactively working with constituents to delve into the meaning of data and transform them into information and action;
  • Providing access to timely, accurate, and actionable information to institutional leaders, the University community, and to external organizations;
  • Providing analysis, research, and evaluation needed by Leighton's decision-makers;
  • Providing leadership and support for effective, meaningful, and manageable processes of student learning assessment and program review;
  • Providing professional development and documentation concerning all areas of OIRP's responsibilities;
  • Researching to support significant institutional priorities;
  • Supporting strategic planning efforts through metrics development, measurement, communication of progress, and forecasting.