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Official OU Reporting Definitions & Glossary

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Official OU Reporting Definitions & Glossary


Academic YearThe academic year for official reporting is defined as Summer, Fall, and Spring.  This definition aligns with the way data are reported to the OSRHE.  The official definition does not match that used by some functional offices in campus, however, such as financial aid.  Some of these offices define an academic year as Fall, Spring, and Summer.  It is important to know about these two different definitions used on campus, because you need to know which one is most appropriate to your reporting situation.  All reports on the IRR website use the official definition of an academic year (Summer, Fall, Spring) unless explicitly noted otherwise.  If you are uncertain what semesters are included in a report by academic year, it’s a good idea to ask for clarification.
Census TypeRefers to the timing of the data "snapshot" used for reporting.  IRR creates a frozen, cleansed data set at two points in each semester: Official Reporting Date (ORD) and End of Semester (EOS).  IRR also maintains a calendar of these dates on our website. 
CIP Code

The Classification of Instructional Programs, commonly referred to as CIP, is a taxonomic scheme that uses six digit codes to classify fields of study to a very specific level.  The code is made up of three pairs of two digits.  Each pair of digits corresponds to a level of granularity within the coding scheme, from very broad with the first two digits to very specific by the last two digits.  For example, a CIP code of 42 is Psychology; the next level down might be 42.27 Research and Experimental Psychology; and the most detailed level would be 42.2701 Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics.

The CIP code system allows institutions to more accurately compare their degree programs with those of peer institutions than would be possible using department or major names alone.  The CIP has been revised several times to keep up with changes in degree program offerings, with the most recent revision completed in 2010.  A full copy of the current CIP is available online.

CIP codes for all University of Oklahoma programs can be found in the Degree Program Inventory

Common Data Set                                                                                   

The Common Data Set (CDS) is a set of clearly-defined data items developed through collaboration of publishers and higher education. These items are used to share standard information about a college or university, with emphasis on undergraduate education. Information covers data on admissions, enrollment, retention, classes, activities, policies and costs.

Employee FTE

This is a numeric expression of the workload for which an employee is being paid.  A full-time employee is 1.00 FTE.  A part-time employee's FTE indicates the percentage of a full-time workload the person is being paid to perform. For staff, this is based on the expected number of work hours per week (e.g., 20 hours per week is 0.50 FTE).  For faculty, the standard workload is based on teaching load rather than clock hours. For any faculty FTE less than 1.00 there is a written agreement spelling out what amount of work corresponds to the FTE for which the person is being paid.

In faculty reporting, full-time faculty might have a total at the college or department level that shows partial FTEs, but the overall university total would not. Because of the prevalence of split appointments among faculty, FTE is often used in reports with detail by college and/or department.

IRR reports should clearly label whether the measure displayed is a headcount or a FTE.

End of Semester (EOS) Census TypeData frozen as of the end of the semester, once all grades are turned in. This can be as long as one month past the calendar end of classes, due to the time it takes to get Intersession and Law grades processed. IRR maintains a calendar of these dates on our website. 
FacultyUnless otherwise specified, the term Faculty in IRR reports refers to all employees with a faculty appointment, regardless of modifier (e.g., adjunct, rank), contract length, effort (full- vs. part-time), or focus (e.g. research, library).
FTEFull-time equivalent.  See separate glossary entries for Student FTE and Employee FTE to see how each is defined.
Freshman Class

Refers to the group of students entering college for the first time, direct from high school, who enroll either in the fall semester or in the preceding summer semester and continue to fall semester. For example, a student graduating high school in May 2014 that enrolls at OU in Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 is in the Fall 2014 OU freshman class.

This definition is consistent with federal and state requirements, as well as nationally accepted reporting definitions.

According to OSRHE policy, a student may attempt up to six credit hours after high school graduation before being considered a transfer student. 

The freshman class should never be confused with the freshman cohort (used for retention reporting purposes).

Freshman Cohort

Shorter term for the first-time, full-time degree-seeking freshman cohort, used for official retention and graduation statistics. Sometimes abbreviated FTFTDS.

This definition is consistent with federal and state requirements, as well as nationally accepted reporting definitions.

HeadcountAs the name suggests, this is an unduplicated count of individuals, whether student or employee. It does not take into account full-/part-time status (see FTE for that).
Instructional FacultyThis term includes Regular Faculty and Library Faculty but excludes Research Faculty. This may include deans and associate deans; IRR reports should clarify whether deans/associate deans are included in or excluded from the report.
IPEDSRefers to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a database managed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) per congressional mandate.

IRR publishes all submitted IPEDS surveys on our website.
Institutional Research & Reporting (IRR)OU's Institutional Research & Reporting office is dedicated to providing accurate, detailed, and clearly defined information about the university to a variety of stakeholders - including university administration, government agencies, the media, and the general public. IRR is the official source for all official university reporting data.
Library FacultyOU appoints some professional librarians as faculty. These ranks are not included in the Regular Faculty, but they are considered part of Instructional Faculty.
Norman CampusRefers to all programs offered by the University of Oklahoma that are not administered through the OU Health Sciences Center.  Can include degree programs and courses offered through:  Norman On-Campus, Norman programs at OU-Tulsa, and a range of OU Outreach Programs (Academic Programs, Advanced Programs, Liberal Studies, Center for Independent & Distance Learning, Intersession, etc.).
Norman On-CampusRefers to the core campus physically located in Norman, Oklahoma, through which the majority of the Norman offerings are provided. Headcounts for this campus include all students enrolled in courses offered by Norman On-Campus (N), Intersession (S), and Janux for-credit courses (J).
Official Reporting Date (ORD) Census Type

For student data, this is the first working day after three full weeks of classes have been completed.

For HR data, this is just after October payroll has been processed, usually on November 1st or the first working day afterward.

These definitions are consistent with federal and state requirements, as well as nationally accepted reporting definitions. 

IRR maintains a calendar of these dates on our website.

OSRHEAbbreviation for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the governing body for all Oklahoma institutions of higher education.
OU-TulsaBoth the Norman and Health Sciences Center colleges offer programs at the Schusterman Center, the site of OU-Tulsa.
OU Outreach - Academic ProgramsAcademic Programs offer credit programs involving on- and off-campus courses, cohorts, and travel study opportunities.

OU Outreach - Advanced Programs


Advanced Programs offers masters degree programs, as well as a doctorate degree, to students worldwide. Courses are delivered around the world to military personnel, civil service personnel and civilians.

OU Outreach - Liberal Studies


The College of Liberal Studies offers undergraduate and graduate degree options that can be completed 100% online, through independent study or by attending concentrated weekend or evening classes.

Race/ethnicity data in IRR reports are based on self-reported information provided at the time a person enters the University, either as a student or an employee.

Per federal reporting guidelines, each person is asked two questions.  The first asks whether or not the individual self-identifies as being Hispanic (Y/N).  The second asks the individual to choose as many racial categories as they personally feel appropriately describes them.

Unless explicitly noted, race/ethnicity on IRR reports is based on IPEDS guidelines for assigning a single race/ethnicity category based on a person's answer to those two questions plus their citizenship status.  The decision tree for assigning the categories is as follows: if the person has nonresident alien status regarding citizenship, they are reported as "Nonresident Alien" (sometimes labeled in IRR reports as "International"); if the person indicates they are Hispanic, they are reported as "Hispanic"; if the person selects more than one race, they are reported as "Two or More Races"; if the person does not choose any race, they are reported as "Not Reported"; otherwise, the person is reported in the single race category they chose, whether it be "American Indian/Alaska Native", "Asian", "Black/African American", "Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander", or "White".

This definition is consistent with federal and state requirements, as well as nationally accepted reporting definitions.

Regular FacultyThis term is typically used to refer to faculty who are permanently budgeted and focused on instruction. Regular faculty are defined as tenured, tenure-track, and renewable term appointments at the academic ranks of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor. This can include deans and associate deans that meet those criteria; IRR reports should clarify whether deans/associate deans are included in or excluded from the report. All other academic appointments are temporary or non-regular.
Research FacultyThis term includes Regular Faculty, Library Faculty, and those appointed to jobs focused on conducting research, such as Research Professors, Senior Researchers, Post-Docs, etc. Most researchers at OU are supported by “soft” funding sources, such as research grants, but some are permanently budgeted because they are state-funded agencies (e.g. Oklahoma Archeological Survey).
Retired FacultyThis refers to faculty appointed to the “Professor Emeritus” job title.
Student FTE (Enrollment)

This measure prorates the headcount of part-time students based on credit hours taken.

Student FTE enrollment is most accurately calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours taken during a set interval by the number of hours considered to be a full-time course load for that interval.  On a semester basis the standard credit hour loads are 15 credit hours for undergraduates and 12 credit hours for graduate and professional students.

Another method for estimating student FTE enrollment is adding full-time students to one-third of part-time students. This method is less precise but is generally accepted as an acceptable estimate when a more exact number is not needed.

Student-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio is the ratio of students to instructional faculty at OU.

IRR calculates this figure by including all instructional faculty except Law instructional faculty, and all students except Law students and graduate-level PACS students. This figure is calculated for use in the Common Data Set