Welcome to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Newsletter

OIRA was formed in January 2019 as the merger of the former Office of Assessment and Office of Institutional Research.

OIRA Full Staff portrait
Back row left to right: Ryan Weatherbee, Anne Fensie, Deb Allen, Lori Smith, Mandy Barrington
Front row left to right: Lisa Henderson, Kim Stewart, Lorraine Kouao, Christina Harrick, Lisa Applegate

Welcome to the first Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) newsletter. OIRA exists to support the university community in the areas of planning, assessment, and decision-making by providing timely, accurate, and meaningful information to advance the university’s mission and values.  OIRA was formed in January 2019 as the merger of the former Office of Assessment and Office of Institutional Research. Providing data, analytical, and assessment support is at the heart of our office’s mission.  Among the primary activities of our office are:

  • Providing UMaine data for internal and external reporting, including college guidebooks, external grant reporting, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
  • Supporting academic units in conducting student learning outcomes assessment
  • Facilitating the assessment of General Education student learning outcomes
  • Managing the student evaluation of teaching process including the scanning of paper forms and management of the Explorance Blue online system
  • Providing adhoc analyses on request to support units with academic planning
  • Developing enrollment and credit hour projections for planning and budget preparation
  • Serving on numerous campus and systemwide committees (e.g., UMS Data Advisory Committee, Navigate Leadership Team, Student Systems Steering Committee)

We have now consolidated the websites of the two offices: http://umaine.edu/oira. In the interest of expanding access to data and information, this new site includes additional assessment materials and Power BI interactive dashboards.  We will be adding content and data throughout the year. In addition to expanding our website, we will be offering a series of assessment workshops and Power BI training sessions. We will use this monthly newsletter to communicate updates to our website, dates and times for workshops and training sessions, and the publication of new reports.

We are here to help.  Please never hesitate to reach out to Deb Allen (debra.allen@maine.edu) or one of our staff members with any assessment or data needs. Our contact info can be found on our Staff Directory page.