Institutional research veteran appointed executive director

By Kathy Barnard, University Communications

Hermanson-Fran-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Fran Hermanson, a nearly 30-year veteran of data and analysis in higher education, is the new executive director of institutional research at Washington State University. Interim Provost Dan Bernardo announced the appointment, which becomes effective immediately, today (April 16).

“Fran is a seasoned professional with a deep knowledge of every aspect of Washington State University,” Bernardo said. “She understands the critical role that data and analysis play in decision-making and has the hands-on experience to deliver quality information.”

Hermanson will lead the Office of Institutional Research, which provides institutional-level information about everything from student enrollment and faculty and staff to degrees awarded and finances and research expenditures.

“I am honored that Interim Provost Bernardo has the confidence in my ability to further advance the Office of Institutional Research by providing leadership for business and academic analytics to support strategic decisions and oversight for data management,” she said. “I look forward to working with colleagues across the university and forming critical partnerships to understand the needs and provide advanced research and analysis related to academic resource planning, enrollment management and general operations of our institution.”

Hermanson started her WSU career in institutional research. She quickly became an expert in retention issues, providing analyses and collaborating with university staff on recommendations for best practices in methods to retain students.

After 16 years in that position, she moved to enrollment management where she developed reports to help the recruitment team monitor and track the progression and shape of the incoming class. She also collaborated with staff and consultants to study recruitment and financial aid leveraging. As a result, WSU enrolled its largest freshman class in 2003 and 2004.

Hermanson was later promoted to director of student affairs research where she focused on conducting student surveys and providing data and analysis for the university to guide planning for student progression and success. After seven years, she moved back to institutional research as associate director.

She was interim director for two years while also serving on the PeopleSoft implementation team as a co-lead to collect data and reporting requirements of the university. She currently is business intelligence lead in the university’s enterprise systems group as well as associate director of institutional research.