Published: May 15, 2019

In an effort to better support the University of Colorado Boulder community, the Office of Data Analytics (ODA) has expanded and shifted its organization.

ODA welcomes Faculty Information System

Effective May 1, Faculty Information System (FIS), which historically reported through the Office of Faculty Affairs, will now join ODA. The ODA team welcomes Liz Tomich, senior executive director, Alex Viggio, director of faculty information technology, Don Elsborg, lead architect, and Vance Howard, principal enterprise solutions architect.

FIS focuses on faculty information, including appointments, tenure review, sabbatical eligibility, professional and outreach activities, research interests, honors received and other business-critical data. Ongoing support includes CU Experts, annual Faculty Report of Professional activities (FRPA), CU Boulder Elements (CUBE), among other services.

Expanding the team

ODA welcomed Kristen Alipit as the new innovation program manager in February 2019. Kristen previously served in the CU Boulder Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, and brings a portfolio of programs with her to ODA including Incuvate, the university sponsored annual hackathon, and Innovation Buffs, the innovation cycle and grant proposal process for staff.

Institutional Research within ODA filled five vacancies during April and May 2019, three of which were created during the 2019 academic year to meet the increased demand for data that supports university initiatives and operations.

  • Erika Swain joined ODA in March 2019 as the assistant director for compliance and authorization with a strong background in regional accreditation, previously overseeing training and federal compliance programs at the Higher Learning Commission and the Middle State Commission on Higher Education. Erika also served as the registrar at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, New York.
  • Amy Biesterfeld has been a member of the CU Boulder community since 1999 and joined ODA as the assistant director of assessment early April. She worked as an instructor in the Applied Mathematics Department in the College of Engineering & Applied Science, the director of research, planning and assessment for the School of Education and as the director of strategic planning and assessment for Housing and Dining Services within the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Kevin Hemer joined ODA mid-April as an assessment analyst, recently completing his PhD in education with an emphasis on higher education. Prior to joining ODA, Kevin worked for the research and evaluation unit in the School of Education at Iowa State, with additional background in student affairs, working with community engagement and leadership programming.
  • Mari Dark accepted the role of IR analyst mid-April having worked in higher education for most of the past 20 years, most recently serving as the director for the Office of Institutional Research at Naropa University.
  • Jess Keating will begin her new role as an assessment analyst on May 20. Jess was a postdoctoral research assistant with CU Boulder’s Center for STEM Learning, where she implemented and studied organizational change strategies to improve assessment of undergraduate instruction. Jess’ research investigated students’ transitions to college, identifying predictors of retention and academic performance among university undergraduates to facilitate the development and testing of strategies to close persistent gaps in academic success.

Organizational shift

Effective May 1, Sandra Sawaya, formerly the experience success manager with ODA’s Reporting & Analytics group has moved roles, reporting directly to the assistant vice chancellor for ODA. Sandra now serves as the data insights and consulting services manager and will oversee three contract data scientists. This new leadership role will work to define and improve the data-informed insights that are generated by ODA and facilitate conversations with key stakeholders around these insights.

“I’m thrilled in both the depth and breadth these new additions and new hires bring to the ODA team,” says Marin Stanek, interim assistant vice chancellor for ODA. “Together, the team brings exceptional talent that more fully supports our mission and allow us to better serve the campus. I look forward to the data-driven, actionable intelligence we will continue to provide and expand upon.”