It was my great honor and privilege to serve OCAIR as the 2018-19 Chair. I have had a wonderful time and hope you have, too.
Following the well-developed activity schedule of the prior year, OCAIR 2018-19 started with Newsletter release. As the annual publication of OCAIR, the Newsletter collects research articles, insights and reflections on higher education and the profession. In the issue of 2018, the editors, Shiwei Jiang and Longfei Wang, compiled articles on data visualization, leadership in institutional research, tuition structure and institutional performance in U.S. higher education, and perceptions of Hanyan Wang, the first OCAIR Travel Grant recipient, attending the AIR forum. We were also honored to have colleagues from Taiwan to share their analyses on student success and IR support for decision-making in Taiwan, which brought fascinating and valuable insights from another higher education system.
The Wednesday Wisdom and Friday Fun via Webinar series continue to be the centerpiece of professional development activities. Seven discussion topics and seven webinars were administered over the past year, which covered a wide spread of professional areas including ranking, post-graduation success, data visualization, external review, and analytics supported by renown vendors. A new special issue was added to the Wednesday Wisdom series last year – OCAIR Holiday Fun. Members were invited to answer a questionnaire to check their understanding of AIR, OCAIR, fellow members, and all the funs we had in the past year! The questionnaire might be a bit challenging that we had only one winner, Qingming Shi. The OCAIR Steering Committee will work to make it more engaging and interesting for the coming year. Hope this new activity brought a warm OCAIR light to your holiday.
Six members participated in the OCAIR Best Presentation and Best Practice Awards selection. Two studies both involving Tableau usage won the final awards. Sarah Gallimore won the Best Presentation award for her study on time-to-degree analysis using Tableau, and Sinji Yang won the Best Practice award for his project of Tableau and R integration. Their wonderful ideas and outstanding execution demonstrated creativity and originality of OCAIR members and benefited all of us. I would also like to thank the Award Selection Committee members: Ying Zhou (chair), Kang Bai, Lucy Dai, Zhe Jiang, Lanlan Mu, Bin Ning, Henry Zheng, Eric Yang and Faxian Yang. Most of them have served on the committee two years in a row. They contributed precious time and energy to the participants and the OCAIR family to select the best out of the best. They are appreciated!
Starting from June 2019, OCAIR will be led by a new chair, Xiaoyan Liu, and the new Steering Committee. OCAIR is never lack of outstanding, dedicated and caring leaders. I would expect the new leadership brings us more and all kinds of opportunities to assist members in developing, exploring, and advancing our profession. I would also encourage OCAIR members to engage in the group activities and to network with other fellow members as much as you can.
Christine Keller, Executive Director & CEO of AIR, said on our business meeting that OCAIR is one of the most active Affiliated Organization of AIR. I never doubt it as we have the most wonderful members!
Hope OCAIR has another great year!