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Week of January 28, 2013

Michigan Almanac tracks the numbers that define U-M

The Michigan Almanac, a systematic compilation of information about university operations, is being introduced as the “go-to” Web document for anyone interested in data about the university.

The new Web-based compilation introduced this week is a veritable gold mine of data about the Ann Arbor campus. There are charts, graphs and tables on topics as diverse as the composition of the campus community (almost 64,000 people), the grade-point averages of incoming freshmen (they’re on the rise) and the undergraduate student-faculty ratio (16-1).

The Web-based Michigan Almanac, introduced this week, compiles data about university operations. Image by Lee Home.

“The public is eager for information about important public institutions and we believe making this information readily available is the right approach,” says Martha Pollack, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.

The Michigan Almanac consists of 12 chapters covering topics such as undergraduate admission and enrollment, diversity, research and technology transfer, budget development and academic rankings. The project is an undertaking of the Office of Budget and Planning, which reports to the Office of the Provost.

“We wanted to make this information available in ways that were more accessible than we have done in the past,” says Glenna Schweitzer, associate vice provost and executive director of the Office of Budget and Planning. “Our general approach has been to present 10 years of data to show trends and, wherever possible, to compare ourselves to our peer institutions across the country.”

The Michigan Almanac will provide ready access to data for many different audiences seeking information for a wide range of purposes.

“We hope that prospective students, legislators, faculty members, the media and alumni will all find this new resource useful,” Schweitzer says.

Each chapter has an introduction that highlights goals and key points of interest for that particular topic. Most of the data is presented in graphic form, with written explanations that provide definitions of terms and important historical context where appropriate. The data will be refreshed through periodic updates.


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