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Research News

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The number of credit hours that transfer students can carry with them to their new institution can be an important factor in student momentum and degree completion. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Big data is getting big attention. Karen Webber and Henry Zheng (The Ohio State University) presented at the EdgeEvents virtual summit, Big Data on Campus: Becoming a Data Informed Institution.

Webber and Zheng offered an overview of data analytics in higher education with terms, applications, trends, common barriers, and major issues, such as privacy and ethics. They drew on research and examples collected for their co-edited work, Big Data on Campus (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020).

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hee Jung Gong, doctoral candidate at IHE, recently published her article “Peer learning in STEM: a qualitative study of a student-oriented active learning intervention program” to the Interactive Learning Environments (IF=2.530) journal. The other co-authors are Hyeri Park (UGA, Ph.D. candidate at the College of Education) and Dr. Thomas Chase Hagood (UGA, the Direct of the Division of Academic Enhancement).

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Greg Wolniak and Marjolein Muskens find that attending an undermatched institution “appears to have a positive influence, or no influence, but never a negative influence” on attributes, such as motivation, satisfaction, and self-efficacy.

The researchers studied over 14,500 incoming post-secondary students in the Netherlands to see if undermatching is associated with development of an individual’s affective-psychology. The study intentionally focuses on noncognitive and noneconomic outcomes.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Horatio Alger Association awarded Greg Wolniak a nearly $100,000 extension to capture changes in students over four years of higher education.

The project focuses on the 2017 entering freshman class of Horatio Alger Scholars through the end of their spring semester of their fourth year of college (or four years after starting college) in 2021. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Not all higher education intermediary organizations experience the sustained growth and effectiveness of Complete College America (CCA).

In "Becoming a “game changer”: Complete College America’s role in U.S. higher education policy fields," Erik C. Ness, Paul G. Rubin and Lindsey Hammond unpack some noteworthy characteristics that have contributed to CCA's decade of success and influence.

The researchers delved into organizational archives and conducted extensive interviews with CCA members and key policymakers in three states.

Friday, January 29, 2021

In a broad survey of master’s and doctoral institutions spanning the decade around the 2008 financial crisis, Jim Hearn and Rachel Burns (PhD 2018) found no evidence that the tenure structure leads to inefficiencies in budget.

Current research studies on contingency effects lack a holistic view of organizational costs and financial goals, and they tend to narrowly consider only short-term analyses. The authors address these limits in their longitudinal study.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Associate professor Greg Wolniak co-authored a chapter for Responsibility of Higher Education Systems: What, How, Why? (Brill, 2020).

Along with Marjolein Muskens and Lex Borghans, Woliank expands on his work on career and personal well-being outcomes associated with "undermatching" in the United States. Undermatching occurs when students attend higher education institutions that are less selective than their academic potential would indicate they could attend. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Associate Professor Timothy Reese Cain examines two sit-ins at the University of Georgia in a paper published in the November 2020 issue of History of Education Quarterly.

Cain co-authored the piece with UGA Honors College graduate Rachael Dier. They focus on tactics and reactions to internally-focused activism at the University of Georgia to uncover work of women's rights activists between 1968 and 1972.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Sarah Burman, Matthew Gregory and Greg Wolniak assessed Paul Tough's The Years that Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us (2019) in a review published in Teacher's College Record.

While acknowledging the power of the vignettes and personal experiences woven through the book, the authors invite Tough to lean more into the scholar research to support his anecdotes and to recognize more of the promising programs around the country. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Greg Wolniak is co-author of a chapter assessing current research on the growth of female student success in higher education.

In “Unpacking the ‘Female Advantage’ in the Career and Economic Impacts of College,” part of The Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education​ (2021), Tiffani M. Williams and Wolniak seek to uncover why the gender gap persist sin the labor market given the female advantage in higher education.

Monday, November 30, 2020

An eighteen-month study of the economic impact of advanced degrees led by Charles Knapp, Greg Wolniak, and Jeff Humphreys estimates the actual value to the economic health of the state of higher education degrees among the population. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Karen Webber and co-editor Henry Zheng led a recent AIR Knowledge Exchange Event to share information from their book, Big Data on Campus: Data Analytics and Decision Making in Higher Education.

The panel presentation aired on Tuesday, November 24 from 3-4pm. Christine Keller, executive director & CEO of the Association for Institutional Research moderated the event.

Check out more opportunities to view Knowledge Exchange events at:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The theme of this year's ASHE virtual conference is "Advancing Full Participation," and the IHE community has responded in a big way. Check out the sessions below. More information at 

IHE is a proud ASHE 2020 breakout room sponsor.

Preconference Programming

Friday, November 6, 2020

Karen Webber is part of the opening panel session on November 9 for NACUBO’s virtual Integrated Analytics Planning Conference.

The session is titled Actionable Analytics for Changing Times and includes additional panel members Henry Zheng, and Carrie Klein.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A new book on the use of data analytics, edited by Karen Webber and Henry Y. Zheng, has been released by Johns Hopkins Press. Using a series of focused discussions and case studies, Big Data on Campus: Data Analytics and Decision Making in Higher Education, helps readers understand how analytics can support major organizational functions in higher education, including admission decisions, retention and enrollment management, student life and engagement, academic and career advising, student learning and assessment, and academic program planning. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Denisa Gándara (PhD 2016) and Sosanya Jones investigate how policymakers use discursive strategies in advocating higher education policy in "Who Deserves Benefits in Higher Education?: A Policy Discourse Analysis of a Process Surrounding Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act." The paper appears in the fall 2020 issue of Review of Higher Education.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A research paper by Tim Cain appears in the fall 2020 issue of Review of Higher Education.

In "Collective Bargaining and Committee A: Five Decades of Unionism and Academic Freedom," Cain uses 50 years of reports by the American Association of University Professors’ Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure to unravel the complicated relationship between unionization and academic freedom on college campuses.

Monday, October 19, 2020

In an essay, "Reframing Decision Making in the Current Crisis," published by the TIAA Institute, Jim Hearn challenges industrial production rubrics and labels often applied to gage the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education institutions.

Friday, October 16, 2020

George Spencer is quoted in "How 2- and 4-year colleges can boost spring enrollment" in EducationDive.

Spencer's research of articulation agreements that define how credits transfer between schools (particularly between two-year and four-year higher education institutions) indicates an important part of convincing students to re-engage with higher education during the pandemic.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Karen Webber and Rachel Burns (PhD 2018) appear in Research in Higher Education. Noting the upward trend in borrowing among graduate and professional students, Webber and Burns investigate the implications on students and institutions and on policy development. 

Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data (IPEDS), their study examines educational debt for graduate and professional students in 2000 and 2016 and explores whether significant predictors of debt changed over time. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Research on tracking systems in post-secondary education by Amy Stich appears in the Journal of Higher Education.

Her paper, "Beneath the White Noise of Postsecondary Sorting: A Case Study of the 'Low' Track in Higher Education," tackles the seemingly benign language used to perpetuate "organizational foundations, hierarchies, and processes that are constituting and constituted by race."

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

PhD student Ijaz Ahmad presented a paper with Jim Hearn at the 36th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium on July 2, 2020.

Their quantitative comparison of 21 European higher education systems is titled A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Adoption and Diffusion of Performance-based Funding in European Higher Education. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tim Cain provides expert commentary on college student activism in "Graduate Student Unions Push Back against Institutions' COVID-19 Policies, Perceived Unfair Treatment on Campus." The article chronicles higher education student strikes at the University of Michigan and University of Kansas in response to COVID-19 concerns.

In relation to the pandemic, he noted, “Some of the ways decisions have been made and some of the lack of transparency in some of the decision-making [by university administration] has been eye-opening for students and for faculty and for other workers.”

Monday, August 24, 2020

Researchers in the UGA Institute of Higher Education were awarded $690,027 by the National Science Foundation to study how students’ access to experiential learning opportunities is affected by their proximity to areas with major economic and workforce activity.

Karen Webber, professor of higher education, is PI, and Amy Stich, assistant professor of higher education, is co-PI on the project, “The Effect of Geographic Locale on Access to Work-Related Experiential Activities.”

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