The Institutional Research Office Adopts a Game-Changing New Name

Chapman’s Institutional Research Office (CIRO) has changed its name to Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRADS) to reflect its commitment to helping the campus community convert institutional data into actionable information needed to make informed decisions.  Now in its nineteenth year, Marisol Arredondo Samson, Ph.D., director of the newly-named IRADS, says “it was time for a name change.”

Why the name change, and what does it mean?

If you ask Arredondo Samson, she will tell you that the office is “evolving and keeping pace with the most recent models, trends and innovations for practitioners in the field.”

IRADS (formerly CIRO) is the official source of university statistics and provides the campus community, administrators, faculty and staff with the data they need to perform their jobs effectively. The office also responds to external federal, marketing and ranking surveys, administers and analyzes institutional-level survey research and calculates official retention and graduation rates for the university. IRADS is home of the Snapshot infographic newsletter, maintains the Institutional DataMart and is continually developing reports to include in Panther Analytics.

“None of the services we currently provide the campus will change,” insists Arredondo Samson.

However, instead of simply sharing data with campus partners, IRADS wants to work closer with campus partners to understand the issues and concerns and therefore be better able to support the decision process.

A Data Partnership

The name change signals a shift to a more collaborative relationship with campus partners.

“We want to understand what the issue is and to be part of helping provide the right data in order to have a greater impact,” says Arredondo Samson. “We want the campus community to see us as data coaches and consultants partnering with them to gather, interpret and transform data into insightful and actionable information for informed decision­­­–making.”

As a campus resource under the Office of the Provost, the office’s role has historically been to provide staff, faculty and administrators with data. At times, however, it’s been unclear to the IRADS staff how partners are using data or whether they are asking the right questions prior to surveying campus. Using data to solve a problem or answer a question is a complex task. Campus partners may not be aware of the institutional data that is available or has already been collected through surveys.

“We hope to be the place faculty, staff and administrators come for data direction first,” says Arredondo Samson.

IRADS has prepared a two-page handout for the campus community explaining the change which can be found on their website and will be provided to new Chapman employees.

To RSVP for IRADS virtual office hours, request a meeting with a team member or invite us to one of your department/office meeting email


Michelle Anguka