The neutrality of an IR office can be put to the test when tasked with conducting an equity study. Even the best intentioned and well reasoned study is subject to political considerations that have little to do with the pursuit of truth. From considerations of what variables to include in a regression model to interpretation of results, what it said, how it is said, and from whom a message comes are all as important as any actual statistical results.
This session presents a road map to some of the pitfalls an IR office can face when asked to perform an equity study. Resources from the literature as well as anecdotal experience are used to illustrate the often exasperating decisions and negotiations institutional researchers will have to face when moving beyond the realm of pure research and into studies that could have a large and immediate impact on the University and its employees and students lives.