There is little doubt that philanthropy supports student success. Just don’t ask how many students receive meaningful supports thanks to donors, or how donations correlate to increases in student retention. The way universities usually silo their data, those questions are nearly impossible to answer.

We ought to have answers. Reporting income raised is not the same as reporting impact. Increasingly, institutional strategic goals involve various departments working together. If we have shared goals, then we need to have shared data. How else to set targets and track progress?

Kevin MacDonell explains how data Governance is the policy framework that establishes that key administrative data, regardless of where it is created or where it resides, is an asset of the institution, to be used to guide strategy and decision-making.

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