Data-Informed Decision Making

Examples of decisions at George Fox that were strongly informed by data.

Program Data Description Actions Action Date
George Fox Digital

Retention data

High number of students transferring in Gen Ed credits from low-cost online programs.

Projected in-person enrollment declines in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launch of an online first year General Education option. 2020
RN-to-BSN (Nursing)

Launch (Projected Enrollment):

  • Oregon employment forecast
  • Number of competing programs nearby
  • Competitors' tuition cost
  • Financial projections 

Termination (Actual Enrollment):

  • Enrollment for early cohorts well below expectations
  • Key clinical partner opted not to place employees at Fox for completing their RN to BSN degree
  • Decline in RN to BSN program enrollment across the country (AACN)
  • Online programs at large institutions offered at a cost below what Fox can charge
Launch of RN-to-BSN program in 2019

Termination of the program in 2021 due to lower enrollment than anticipated


2019 & 2021
Physician Assistant

Major nationwide shortage of primary-care health professionals.

Low competition for PA programs in Oregon.

Launch of a new Physician Assistant program 2018
Arts, Humanites & Social Sciences Projected cost savings through eliminating faculty positions and the liklihood of students in affected majors choosing to stay at Fox.
  • Merge History and Political Science programs
  • Terminating Sociology major
  • Theatre, Music
Doctor of Clinical Psychology
  • APA workforce analytics: High demand for psychologists nationally and regionally, particularly in primary care environments.
  • Salary data: Attractive starting salaries for newly licensed psychologists.
  • Strong student demand in primary care.

Added a .5 faculty member to lead a new Primary Care track; 18 students enrolled in the first year 


Projected savings from changes to the Portland Center Library (PCL)

Moved all print books from PCL to the Murdock Library.

PCL space converted to Counseling Clinic and employee offices.

Terminated rental of office space in a nearby building.

Eliminated positions of the most PCL staff and all student workers.

Art & Design

Enrollment: Efforts to recruit students into the program met limited success.

Eliminate the Fashion Design concentration within the Art major, as well as the elimination of the related minors in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

Spring 2016
Art & Design

Program websites  at peer institutions:
All but one peer university offered at least two semesters of Adobe CS2, evidence of the level of need for aptitude with the software.  (summary)

Employer Interviews: When asked for characteristics esseential in new hires, all employers included a high level of proficiency with CS2   (summary)

Added a 2nd semester of coursework on Adobe Creative Suite II

Fall 2015

LibQUAL 2014 survey: Many respondent comments on the need for longer hours and more group study spaces at the Murdock Library. (complete summary)

  • Five additional study rooms to be added to Murdock Library
  • The Murdock Library will stay open one additional hour M-Th during the semester

Enrollment projections: Increased revenues from enrollment of aspiring players (a new recruitment niche) and football fans

NCAA Division III study: Results showed that football is the #1 sport of interest to college-bound students in OR and WA

Lauched Football program in Fall 2014


National employment data: Shortage of doctorally qualified accounting professors across the U.S.

Projected profitability and sustainability analysis: Internal analysis showed there was adequate funding to implement and sustain

Started offering Accounting specialization in the Doctor of Business Administration program

Study Abroad

Student Financial Services accounting showed that George Fox was taking a significant net loss on study abroad -- paying out more in programs costs than students were paying in

Multiple phone calls from dissatisfied parents each Spring

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

-George Fox 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: Showed significant demand for more "space for students to study and work in groups." Completely renovated the first floor of the Murdock Library to create extensive collaborative learning spaces. 2013
Student Life NSSE: 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: Results on advising Formation of the IDEA Center and the many task forces we have had around these issues. 2012
Student Life NSSE: 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: Data on working effectively with others Has been a key initiative within our student leadership program ongoing
Student Life ACHA-NCHA (college health) surveys: 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

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