CIRPA 2013: How One Researcher Found Love

I have spent nearly eight years in higher education and yet I was almost completely unfamiliar with the world of institutional research until I attended the 2013 conference for the Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association (CIRPA). As a sponsor, Insightrix had a presence at the CIRPA 2013 conference and I was delighted to attend this year’s event. Based on interactions with the individuals I had the pleasure of meeting, I must say that my first CIRPA conference experience was a complete success.

CIRPA 2013 was truly a national event, bringing together people from across Canada (and even some individuals from the United States) to discuss important topics facing colleges and universities throughout the country. Although the topics of discussion varied, it became clear near the end of the conference that, no matter where in Canada an institution is located, common challenges exist. Recruitment, retention, inclusion, and development of an institutional culture were the common themes of the conversations I had with several delegates. Though each institution must implement unique solutions based on its specific demographics and geography, homogeneous challenges exist.

Above the content and context I gained through conversation, the attitudes of each individual I spoke with truly made CIRPA 2013 a great experience for me. I was able to share laughs, discuss the local economy, and even point out the hip places to visit in Regina to out-of-town delegates. Everyone I spoke with was warm, friendly, inviting, and interested in learning about Insightrix. Something that was true during my time in higher education remains true: the people really make a difference.

Blog by Dylan Cody