Director of Institutional Research

Chestnut Hill, MA

Posted: 3/9/20
Deadline: 5/31/20
Salary: Full-Time Equivalent Hiring Range: $121,800 to $152,250; salary commensurate with relevant experience
Reference Number: 3416

About This Organization

Boston College

Founded in 1863, Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university located six miles from downtown Boston with an enrollment of 9,150 full-time undergraduates and 4,420 graduate and professional students. Ranked 31 among national universities, Boston College has 758 full-time and 1,096 FTE faculty, 2,750 non-faculty employees, an operating budget of $956 million, and an endowment in excess of $2.2 billion.

Job Duties

The Director of Institutional Research leads and empowers a professional team that works collectively to provide evidence, analysis, and internal and external reporting expertise for Boston College. The Director serves as the central internal liaison and key contact with other BC departments, helping to ensure that university data is employed as a critical institutional asset in key areas of decision-making. The Director will be a data storyteller with exceptional ability to analyze and synthesize data from multiple internal and external sources, articulate implications and options in an effective and convincing manner, and produce high-quality research and reports that are accurate, timely, and contribute to building a more data-informed culture.

The Director reports to the Vice-President, Institutional Research and Planning and will join the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. IR&P is a university resource and engaged partner with multi domain expertise in institutional research, space planning, and strategic consulting. IR&P integrates analytics and planning in order to advance the strategic, academic, administrative, and operational goals of the University.

In collaboration with the VP, the Director of Institutional Research will:
• Set the strategic direction, priorities and content for the office’s projects, data governance policies, and communications.
• Develop and implement creative new ways to support and advance the IR&P mission and functions to ensure that IR&P’s work moves forward and is integrated into the larger priorities of the University.
• Advocate for further development of the University’s data systems as more sophisticated tools for decision-making are created, and for creating operating structures and systems that allow IR to provide institutional research, reporting and predictive analytics resources.
• Support campus capacity to use data to respond to external demands and inform strategic campus priorities.

Essential Responsibilities and Duties:


• Take primary ownership of the collection, analysis and interpretation, reporting, and maintenance of the University’s critical data entities. Ensures institutional data is collected accurately, analyzed rigorously, used appropriately, and shared with key stakeholders to make data-informed and evidence-based decisions.
• Determine project prioritization, including negotiating, defining, and clarifying requests; managing assignments, timelines, and deliverables, identifying potential collaborations, and communicating expectations clearly and respectfully to key stakeholders.
• Ensure ongoing review and shaping of the office’s policies by staying abreast of the landscape of higher education. Adapt and respond to new data reporting requirements based on emerging needs, including ad hoc requests suitable to the needs of various stakeholders. Ensure compliance with state and federal guidelines and other external agency requirements.
• Work with project teams and cross-functional groups to help them use data and analytics to design and implement a broad range of planning, business, and operational solutions.
• Collaborate with other departments to continuously improve the institution’s processes for data collection, analyses, and reporting activities.
• Serve as a data steward and representative of the office, providing thoughtful insight to campus leadership on how they might analyze data or make informed decisions.
• Support faculty and staff in their development of data literacy skills and in making data-informed decisions.
• Guide data users and consumers in their efforts to respond to internal and external data requests in a way that protects the privacy of students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
• Enhance and extend the department’s influence by representing the department at local and national conferences and on committees as appropriate.


• Identify critical questions and analytic needs through broad stakeholder engagement, and oversee the production of targeted statistical analyses to empower institutional decision-making processes.
• Seek out and incorporate relevant external data, and combine/model data from multiple sources into analyses to provide new insights and inform strategy.
• Develop and implement a structure for project completion and delivery, including new, recurring and ad hoc projects and requests.
• Direct the design, administration, and analysis of qualitative data collection through instruments such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups.
• Develop and disseminate objective special reports, executive updates, and white paper analyses that provide targeted recommendations based on institutional performance and research results. Reduce technical results into reports, visualizations and dashboards that can be easily and quickly understood.
• Clearly and compellingly communicate and present results of analyses in a variety of written and oral formats.
• Ensure integrity, timeliness and accuracy of regular and ad hoc reports, templates, publications and dashboards.
• Have significant responsibility for formulating and administering policy for the office and act as a key partner with other offices in implementing good data governance, maintaining institutional data sets, formulating policy and procedures to optimize, secure and leverage information as a university asset.
• Leverage technology to assist in the collection and analysis of data. Embrace innovation in data science methods including advanced modeling and the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning.

• Supervise and oversee the development of professional staff and graduate interns charged with institutional reporting and data administration, allocating tasks in an equitable manner that builds on existing skill sets and helps team members to develop additional expertise.
• Mentor staff and conduct performance evaluations. Set clear goals and objectives.
• Assign and support projects within the IR working team, including both direct and indirect reports.

Required Qualifications

• BA/BS, Advanced degree in relevant business or higher education-related field required. PhD in higher education, educational research, public policy or related field preferred.
• Seven + years of progressively responsible experience in higher education settings.
• Strong understanding of higher education policies and practices.

• Demonstrated ability to prioritize and direct complex projects and efforts to achieve unit and University goals, while keeping a focus on efficiency and effective use of resources.
• Track record of effectively achieving desired results and managing multiple projects and competing priorities simultaneously, including recurring and emerging work, while maintaining a high degree of accuracy.
• Consistent and rigorous adherence to industry standards for data integrity and processes and at the same time, delivering unique, innovative and pragmatic solutions.
• Affinity for solutions focused approach to issues, including providing methodologically sound and thorough answers to a wide range of difficult and complex problems.
• Demonstrated ability to lead by influence in a way that inspires trust and motivates individuals toward a common goal including working well with end users, management, and others.
• Ability to collaborate across units and within work teams, and be an effective member of cross-functional committees and workgroups.
• Demonstrated ability to work in a fast paced, team based, deadline oriented environment.
• Detail oriented with attention to each element and aspect of a challenge or situation, and how various parts can influence each other, and adopting a systems perspective to identify barriers and opportunities for improvement.
• Sensitive to confidential matters and exercises high level of discretion and judgment.
• Exemplary survey research skills including proficiency in online survey design, administration, and analysis.
• Statistical skills of the highest caliber with strong command of data management, modeling and analysis, reporting and visualization that is insightful and accessible for diverse audiences.
• Expert knowledge of research and design, including standard statistical procedures relation to sampling, correlation analysis, projections, instrument design, and qualitative measures applied to educational and social science research.
• Survey methodology, design, and administration across stakeholder groups, manage data quality
• Evaluation of statistical approaches and strong rationale for how to evaluate research questions in context to select the appropriate tool and methodology.
• Experience quantitative and qualitative research methods.
• Knowledge of statistical and analytical survey instruments, protocols, procedures.
• In depth understanding of statistical techniques, research methodology, data analysis, interpretation of results and presentation of results through various methods and tools.

Data Tools
• Experience with and specialized knowledge of educational research tools including data marts/warehouses; data preparation, manipulation, mining, and querying tools; relational databases; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems; data visualization tools; and statistical software.
• Expertise with statistical tools, modeling, testing, validating, and publishing reports.
• Advanced skills in statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, R) and accessing and extracting data from multiple sources and translating into useful reports.
• Proficiency with survey distribution software.
• Knowledge of emerging data collection, visualization and planning tools.
• Ability to plan, create, program and manage statistical databases across multiple hardware and operating system platforms/environments
• SQL programming ability and or other software used to manipulate, summarize and produce reports from multiple, large complex data sets.

• Proven ability to clearly organize and communicate complex research designs, analytic frameworks, and statistical results clearly, effectively, and accurately to diverse campus constituencies, ability to translate analysis into usable information.
• Demonstrated success in delivering reports and visualizations that answer key questions, prompt new questions, and raise the understanding of the issues at hand.
• Record of excellence in the design, facilitation, and assessment of workshops.
• Ability to craft high quality presentations, handouts and other materials.
• Demonstrated experience in communicating with senior leadership and making policy and procedural recommendations.
• Ability to interact and deal effectively with diverse groups of people and work with a wide variety of leadership styles at all levels of the organization.
• Strong diplomacy skills and ability to handle the conflicting needs of multiple constituents.
• Successful history of presentations and service at the national level, peer-reviewed publication.

• Excellent leadership and supervisory skills; ability to guide, manage and motivate staff.
• Experience managing a team of research professionals and their work to define, gather, organize, analyze and present data that are valid, accurate, and complete.
• Ability to act on, initiative, identify opportunities, and be proactive in putting forward ideas and solutions.
• Ability to resolve escalated issues arising from operations that require coordination with other departments.
• Ability to manage conflict and interpersonal dynamics.
• Ability to foster inclusivity and inclusive actions/practices in higher education.


Full-Time Equivalent Hiring Range: $121,800 to $152,250; salary commensurate with relevant experience

Other Info