Mike founded the Austen Group in 1998 in response to the need for more effective institutional research at small and medium-sized private colleges. Since then, the Austen Group has helped dozens of institutions analyze the effectiveness of their curricular and co-curricular offerings through its Curriculum and Costs Analysis tool and the Austen Sports Index; and helped hundreds of colleges and universities with financial and key indicator benchmarking through its work with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the Association of Business Administrators of Christian Colleges (ABACC). Mike is a frequent presenter at the CIC President and Chief Academic Officer Institutes.
Numbers matter, and the quantitative side of program review is essential, but Mike’s background in the humanities and the faculty informs his approach to this topic. The Austen Group’s experience finds that without mutual respect and trust, effective communication, and transparency and fairness, even the most careful analysis cannot effect the necessary change. Mike enjoys partnering with senior administration and faculty to help institutions become stronger and more effective through institutional research.