Performance reporting--publishing information on the results of highereducation at the state, system, and institutional levels--is said to have thepotential to enhance external accountability, improve institutionalperformance, further state needs, and possibly even increase state funding.But are campus administrators and public officials actually using thesereports? Does performance reporting really lead to these kinds of outcomes?No study has ever tested the effectiveness of performance reporting--untilnow. This issue explores the origins and development of performance reporting,examines the attitudes of state and campus leaders, and discusses how thesereports are--or are not--being put to use. Burke and Minassians begin bytracing the rise of performance reporting amidst the demands for increasedaccountability in higher education in the late 80s and early 90s. Theyexamine the formats, coverage, and content of performance reports--with aparticular emphasis on how well suited they are to the needs of their endusers in government and on campus--and discuss how reporting indicators areselected and what the selection process tells us about policymakers' goals,values, and models for excellence for public colleges and universities. The authors then look at what state and campus officials think aboutperformance reports and how they actually use them. Burke and Minassiansanalyze the opinions of a geographically diverse group of governor's aides,legislative chairs of education committees, higher education financeofficers, and campus institutional researchers about the use, effects andfuture of performance reporting, and about the importance andappropriateness of the indicators most commonly used in performance reports.Finally, the authors discuss reasons why performance reporting does not yetseem to be having the strong positive impact envisioned by it's supporters,and they make recommendations about how to best use and improve performanceinformation. This is the 116th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Institutional Research.