Recognizing the potential strength of decision support research that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative information can provide to campus decision makers, this issue of New Directions for Institutional Research establishes methods for integration of numeric data and its contextual application. With theoretical and practical examples, contributors explore the techniques and realities of creating, communicating, and using balanced decision support information. Chapters discuss the critical role of measurement in building institutional quality; examples of conceptual and theoretical frameworks and their application for the creation of evaluation information; and methods of communicating data and information in relation to its decision support function. Providing an example of effective practice in integrated qualitative and quantitative applications, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Chancellor Mark L. Perkins discusses the role appropriately balanced qualitative and quantitative information has played in his own institutional decision making.
For professionals involved in decision support research across the academy, this thorough examination of the qualitative and quantitative paradigms is a much-needed addition to the literature of the field. This is the 112th issue of the quarterly journalNew Directions for Institutional Research.
RICHARD D. HOWARD is associate professor of adult and higher education at Montanna State University-Boseman.
At the time of writing KENNETH W. BORLAND JR. was assistant vice provost for academic affairs and assistant professor of adult education at Montana State University-Bozeman. Currently he is associate provost at East Stroudsburg University.