Associate Provost Greg Heileman announced on Monday that Heather Mechler, currently the associate director for the Office of Institutional Analytics (OIA), will step into the interim role as director. Her appointment is effective immediately.
Mechler was first hired at UNM as an adjunct faculty in the educational psychology program, then joined the Office of Institutional Analytics in 2013 as an institutional researcher. She has been the associate director since 2015, overseeing staff development and the day-to-day operations of the office, providing data analysis for state and federal reporting, and fulfilling ad-hoc requests for colleges and offices around the university.
The Office of Institutional Analytics was established in 2011, during the first year of Provost Chaouki Abdallah’s tenure in Academic Affairs. It was formerly called the Office of Institutional Research. OIA is the central data analysis and reporting center at UNM. Under Paige Briggs’ oversight, the office expanded its scope to include development of advanced visualization and robust data collection and reporting systems.
“I look forward to continuing the great work that OIA has done to facilitate better, data-driven decisions at UNM," Mechler said. "As we enter this period of transition, OIA will continue to support UNM in its mission to serve our students and our state.”
Mechler is an active member of a number of University committees and initiatives, including as a member of the Student Affairs Assessment & Research Advisory Committee, and as a co-chair of the First Year Steering Committee’s data and assessment subcommittee. She has been instrumental in the recent redesign of the Senior Exit Survey, as well as providing analysis of student outcomes for many of the University’s student support programs.
“Heather has done an outstanding job as associate director,” Heileman said. “She has a deep background in this area, and is already well acquainted with the university’s data and reporting needs. We anticipate a smooth transition for the office.”
Mechler received her Ph.D. in educational psychology, and a B.A. in music from the University of Alabama.
She replaces Paige Briggs, who has accepted a position at Rural Sourcing Inc.