Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Institutional Effectiveness

Institutional Effectiveness is the process by which Mississippi State University and all of its academic, academic support, administrative, research, and service units (1) identify expected outcomes, (2) set an assessment protocol to measure the outcomes, (3) report the results of the protocol, and (4) provide evidence of improvement based upon the analysis of the results. The Institutional Effectiveness (IE) process seeks continuous improvement by evaluating MSU’s programs and by reflecting on what has been successful and what areas could be enhanced.

Institutional Effectiveness Process

The annual IE report forms the basis of the assessment process. This report follows the conceptual model of the four-column matrix:

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
Expected outcomes Assessment procedures and criteria for success Assessment results Use of results or reflection of the improvements that have been made as a result of previous assessment cycles

These IE reports are kept within a centralized data system, TracDat, which the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness maintains. The assessment cycle begins in July of the academic cycle with units completing columns 1 and 2 of the matrix. The cycle ends on August of the following year with units completing columns 3 and 4.


As of Fall 2015, 328 units across campus complete annual IE reports. These units are classified as either (1) academic or academic/student support or (2) administrative, research, and service. From a granular level, each academic program (e.g., bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral) set learning and program outcomes, which then are aggregated at the college level, then to a division level, and then to the overall university. The academic/student support units set learning and program outcomes, while the administrative, research, and service units set program outcomes; these units’ reports are aggregated to a division level and then to the overall university (see Figure 1).

Institutional Effectiveness Staff

Institutional Effectiveness staff are located in the
Office of Maroon & Write
280 Magruder Street
Mailstop: 9591

Tracey N. Baham, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Stephen Frederic
Database Administrator

Kayla Pineda
Assessment Coordinator

Ed Dechert
Assessment Coordinator

Joseph Barton
Graduate Assistant

Last revised: 12/01/2017  

Contact Information

269-A Allen Hall
Mailstop: 9712

Phone: 662.325.3920
Fax: 662.325.3514