Data-Informed Decision Making

Examples of decisions at GFU that were strongly informed by data.

Program Data Sources Core Theme* Data Description Actions Action Date

A) Enrollment projections

B) NCAA Division III study


A) increased revenues from enrollment of aspiring players (a new recruitment niche) and football fans

B) Results showed that football is the #1 sport of interest to college-bound students in OR and WA

- Lauched Football program in Fall 2014


A) National employment data

B) Projected profitability and sustainability analysis


A) Shortage of doctorally qualified accounting professors across the U.S.

B) Internal analysis showed there was adequate funding to implement and sustain

Started offering Accounting specialization in the Doctor of Business Administration program

Study Abroad

A) Student Financial Services accounts

B) Parent communications

C) Study abroad survey at peer institution


A) Accounting showed that GFU was taking a significant net loss on study abroad -- paying out more in programs costs than students were paying in

B) Multiple phone calls from dissatisfied parents each Spring

C) Results of a study abroad survey at Messiah College, a peer institution facing the same challenges

-GFU no longer pays airfare

-Money previously budgeted for the off-campus semester programs used to increase the number of opportunities for shorter study abroad programs

-Stopped limiting the number of students who study abroad

Library LibQual 2011 1,2 Showed significant demand for more "space for students to study and work in groups." Completely renovated the first floor of the MLRC to create extensive collaborative learning spaces. 2013
Student Life NSSE 1 Indicated a lack of UG student engagement on-campus over weekends, etc. Moved away from a student leadership model to a student activities position. 2013
Student Life NSSE 1 Results on advising Formation of the IDEA Center and the many task forces we have had around these issues. 2012
Student Life NSSE 3 Results on student engagement with others outside of their own ethnicity and background Used in the Diversity Committee and the office of inclusion to increase our efforts and effectiveness over time (particularly, as we developed programs and initiatives around the Blueprint, curriculum, etc.) ongoing
Student Life NSSE 1, 3 Data on working effectively with others Has been a key initiative within our student leadership program ongoing
Student Life ACHA-NCHA (college health) surveys 1 Assessment of current services and in planning strategies for improving services Decide programming interventions in residence halls; prioritize budget requests; seek grant funding for certain items ongoing

*Core Themes:

  1. Excellence in liberal arts foundation
  2. Excellence in professional preparation
  3. Christ-centered community
  4. Local and global engagement

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