It comes as no surprise that managing in higher education (itself an oxymoron) entails managing contradictions. One of those contradictions is the unwavering belief in research that forms the basis of the faculty belief system and the dominance of the anecdote as a driver of institutional administrative behaviors. It is an old saw that "anecdotes trump data" in political organizations. As information technologies grow in cost, complexity, and impact on the institutions they serve, can we any longer afford to fly by the collective seats of our pants? The EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research is being created to support higher education by creating a new body of applied research to support technology and management decisions of consequence.